Sunday, October 24, 2010

Portobello Cream Sauce with Whole-Wheat Penne

I had such good luck recently with a couple of Rachael Ray recipes that I thought I'd try one more.  I found a couple of of pasta dishes that looked fantastic then gave Bo the final choice .
I am becoming more and more enamored with cream sauces that are lighter in texture instead of  the thick, heavier ones I am used to.  A sauce like this still attaches itself to the noodle without coating your mouth.  So basically if you enjoy a nice cream sauce, if mushrooms are your go-to veg (as with us) then you will thoroughly enjoy this dish.

One final note:  Please use whole wheat pasta as recommended.  It's hearty texture stands up in a beautiful way and becomes more than a supporting player.  P.s.I know there is no "finished" photo.  You see it smelled so good that I forgot to take pictures.

Portobello Cream Sauce with Whole-Wheat Penne (Inspired by Rachael Ray)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 4 large portobello mushroom caps, wiped clean and gills scraped, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • A few grates nutmeg
  • 1 pound whole-wheat penne
  • 1 cup walnut pieces
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 large bunch spinach
In a medium saucepan, heat the extra-virgin olive oil and butter over medium to medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and brown for 10 minutes. Stir in the thyme and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more. Stir in the red wine 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 spinach on top.

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