Monday, October 4, 2010

Portobello Cream Sauce with Whole Wheat Pasta

I love a good cream sauce and since I rarely make them, I feel justified in doing so from time to time.
Recently Bo rode in the MS 150 Jack and Back weekend ride.  Two days on his bike and 55-75 miles each day.  So he got to choose the "last supper" and pasta was what he wanted - and a cream sauce was a bonus to him.  After all, he could use the extra calories!

I did make a few changes to the recipe, but not many.  One change that I didnt make that I usually do is when a recipe calls for olive oil and butter, I usually leave the butter out, cutting the "pure" fat content down a bit.  But not this time. Special consideration for a special weekend.  The final product called for watercress, of which none could be found, so I tore pieces of fresh spinach for that green bite.  I also made the sauce in the afternoon, using the "make ahead" component.  Oh, and I used more mushrooms than was called before because we just LOVE the 'shrooms!

So without further ado, the third recipe from Rachael Ray's new show, Week in a Day

Portobello Cream Sauce with Whole-Wheat Pasta (Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray)
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 large portobello mushroom caps, wiped clean and gills scraped, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped dried chives
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup port or Marsala, your choice of flavoring (I used a nice Cab because I had one open)
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock-in-a-box
  • 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • A few grates nutmeg
  • 1 pound whole-wheat pasta
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
In a medium saucepan, heat the extra-virgin olive oil, a turn of the pan, and butter over medium to medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and brown for 10 minutes. Stir in the chives, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more. Stir in the port or Marsala, the stock and the cream. Season the sauce with a little nutmeg, then reduce the heat and simmer until it is just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Cool completely and store in the refrigerator for a make-ahead meal. Reheat the sauce, covered, over medium heat until it bubbles, then reduce heat to low.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium heat. Salt the water and add the pasta. Cook until al dente and then drain. Add the pasta to a large serving bowl.

Toast the nuts in small pan over low heat until fragrant. Add the warm sauce to the pasta and serve with cheese, nuts and chopped watercress (spinach) on top.

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