Monday, April 12, 2010

Penne With Creamy Wild Mushroom Sauce and Grilled Asparagus

Creamy Wild Mushroom Sauce and Grilled Asparagus...

Pasta is always a winner in our house.  Pasta with mushrooms, however, got an "ewe" face from the boys, but they gave it a try and were not disappointed.  I LOVE mushrooms, especially baby bellas.  I use them whenever it calls for any kind of mushroom.  I put mushrooms on pizza, in pasta, saute it to go on whole wheat couscous, cook it with shish-ka-bobs, grill them with other veggies, stuff them with cheese and bread crumbs, stack them with tomato and eggplant, even have a portobello burger once in name it, I like it with mushrooms! 

Tonight I made a recipe I had in my binder that I took out of a 2008 Clean Eating Magazine.  It was just waiting there for me.  I had to figure out something quick with the food I had on hand.  I saw the "mushroom" in the title and figured it was time to give it a try.

The recipe was simple to follow.  It called for dried wild mushrooms, which I did not have on hand, so I used the baby bellas.  I put the oil, garlic, mushrooms and fresh thyme into the wok to cook about 10 minutes. 


While the mushrooms were cooking, I placed the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg yolk, salt and 3/4 cup of chicken broth (because I did not have the liquid from rehydrating the mushrooms that the recipe called for) into the mixer to puree.

Once the mushrooms were cooked, I added the cheese mixture to the wok. 


I added the pasta to the mushroom and cream mixture, and then added salt, pepper and fresh thyme.

The grilled asparagus is very easy to prepare.  Bend the asparagus spear until it snaps.  This will get rid of the woody ends.  Place them in a grill pan and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Grill until browned, turning to cook all sides of the asparagus.


When fully cooked, plate the asparagus and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Penne With Creamy Wild Mushroom Sauce
Clean Eating Magazine (Winter 2008)

1 oz dried wild mushrooms  (I didn't use these)
1 cup boiling water  (or this)
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 (8 oz) package slice mushrooms  (I used baby bellas)
1 tbsp fresh thyme  (plus more for garnish)
1 clove garlic, minced  (I used two)
2 cup fat-free ricotta cheese  (I used part-skim)
2 tbs grated Parmesan cheese 
1 egg yolk
1 tsp kosher salt
1 (16 oz) package whole grain or whole wheat pasta (I used a 12 oz box)


Place dried wild mushrooms in a medium bowl.  Pour boilling water over them and let rehydrate for 20 minutes.  Drain mushrooms and liquid into measuring cup; set both mushrooms and liquid aside (there should be just over 3/4 cup of the liquid).

Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat.  Saute sliced mushrooms with thyme and garlic until soft and fragrant, about 10 minutes, stirring often.  Add reserved wild mushrooms, cook for 2-3 more minutes. 

While the mushrooms are cooking, combine ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg yolk, salt and 3/4 cup of the reserved wild mushroom liquid in a blender; puree. 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Cook penne according to the package directions; drain and set aside.  Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water to thin the sauce, if neccessary.

Reduce the mushroom mixture to medium-low heat and slowly stir in the cheese mixture.  Stir continuously fo r5-7 minutes until the sauce is thickened and coats the back of a spoon; remove from heat.  Stir in cooked penne, adding some fo the reserved pasta water if the sauce gets too thick, and serve.

Serves 5
Cost per serving $1.59
Full Recipe $8.00

Go for it!  Try something new.  Let me know what you think when you do try by leaving a comment. 

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