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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Whole Wheat Pasta with Peas and Roasted Portobello Mushrooms

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
I thought it was time to do a pasta recipe, especially one that is healthy, filling, and vegetarian. This is a great, easy summer dinner, inexpensive to make and quite tasty!

4 Portobello mushrooms
Salt and white pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic chopped
Pinch saffron (very optional, but very nice)
8 ounces whole wheat pasta, some manner of short shape (bowties, pennette, Fusselli)
10 oz box frozen peas
1/2 cup white wine
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated fine
Chopped parsley, thyme, basil, rosemary or mint, to taste (optional, but nice)

Preheat oven to 400. Put up three quarts of salted water on to boil. Rub the mushrooms clean of dirt with a towel or paper towel. Cut off the stems if they're long (but use them). Slice the mushrooms and toss them in a bowl with salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons olive oil . Heat a heavy pan over high heat. Add about a tablespoon of oil to the pan, and when it's hot enough to shimmer but not quite smoke, add the mushrooms. Let sear briefly, then put pan into oven. In another pan large enough to hold all the peas, mushrooms and pasta, heat the oil over low heat and add the chopped garlic. careful it can burn. Add saffron, if using. If the garlic starts to brown, take the pan off the heat. Check on the mushrooms. Give the pan a toss. You're looking for nice browning and, eventually, for them to have cooked and shrunken enough to be almost chewy, about 20-25 minutes total. Put back in oven and continue to roast. Cook pasta in the boiling, salted water. When the pasta is nearly done, put the garlic-oil pan back over high heat. Add the peas and heat through with a few tablespoons of pasta water. Season with salt and plenty of pepper. Take the mushrooms from the oven and deglaze the pan with the wine, stirring to dissolve all the brown bits, and bring to a boil to cook off the alcohol. Add to the peas. Stir in the raw minced garlic and herbs, if using. Drain the pasta once finished and add to the peas. Toss all together, stir in the cheese, taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, and maybe a little red pepper flake. Serve right away.