pappardelle with mushrooms, rosemary, and tomatoes

Looking for a quick and easy pasta dish for a weeknight dinner? This one is perfect! However, the dish came out drier than expected. I prefer a more sauce-y product and if you do too, then double the sauce recipe. It is mild and very flavorful. For more bite, add red pepper flakes to taste. This is a vegetarian dish but don’t let that stop you from trying it!   The guys in my family object to eating their vegetables without some protein, so I added a cupful of slivered turkey ham to the pasta.

Pappardelle with  mushrooms, rosemary, and tomatoes
(from DanaSlatkin.com)

Serves 8 as a side dish or 4 as a main course

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra ­virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, minced 2 garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine (I substituted 1/2 cup apple juice. White grape juice is fine too.)
1 (15­ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice (I recommend any flavored diced tomatoes.)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 cup low ­sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup heavy cream or half and half (optional. Using it will result in a pale sauce.)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound homemade or store ­bought pappardelle, or other wide pasta (I used garlic and herb pappardelle)
1 pound assorted wild mushrooms, washed well
Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Preparation:

1. In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over low heat and sauté the shallot and garlic until fragrant and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the white wine, increase the heat to medium, and simmer until the wine has reduced by three ­quarters, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and rosemary and continue cooking until the sauce has thickened, about 15 minutes. Add the broth and cook until thickened slightly, about 10 more minutes. Stir in the cream, if desired; simmer for one more minute, and season with salt and pepper.
2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
3. Transfer the sauce to a blender and blend the sauce; keep warm.
4. Cook the pasta in the boiling water until it is tender but still al dente; drain (do not rinse) it and set aside.
5. While the pasta is cooking, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over high heat and sauté the mushrooms until they are golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Season them lightly with salt and pepper. Cook’s Note: I added a cupful of slivered turkey ham slices to the mushrooms.
6. Add the tomato sauce and pasta to the skillet, tossing to blend. With a large serving fork, twirl the pasta and transfer it to serving bowls. Top each portion with extra sauce [Cook’s Note: if there is any!] and grated Parmesan cheese.

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pictures of pretty (delicious) things to eat

I had such a busy week wrestling with the dissertation that I didn’t have time to post something, but I did have time to cook! What can I say? It’s therapy. So I made this Smilebox collage, and I  set it to Joni Mitchell because Chelsea Morning is all about food. What we’ve got here (clockwise from the top) is: black bean veggie burger on an iceberg lettuce “bun,” roasted sweet potato wedges, and cilantro dipping sauce; zucchini pie with chopped turkey ham; brown rice sautéed in coconut oil; chicken with vegetables; and finally, a simple spinach sauté with a poached egg hat.

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Berghoff lentil soup

A friend in Chicago gave me a copy of the cookbook from this famous Chicago German restaurant, now closed. This recipe is from that book. I went straight to the soups.  I like lentils because unlike other dried beans, they don’t need to be soaked before cooking and they cook up fairly quickly. I halved the recipe because I am not feeding a crew of eight and I did want leftovers; just not that much. I used low fat turkey ham instead.

I also made my own chicken stock in a 3 quart saucepan using the bones from two chicken breasts, a two-inch piece of ginger, two chopped scallions, and 3 whole cloves of garlic. I cooked it for 1 1/2 hours on low heat, then strained the broth, discarding the solids. Then I set the pot aside. All this is prelude to

Berghoff lentil soup
2 teaspoons canola oil
¾ cup diced onion
2-4 teaspoons minced garlic
¾ cup diced celery
¾ cup diced carrots
4 cups chicken stock
¾-1 cup dried lentils, rinsed and picked over
1 large bay leaf
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 cup diced ham (use turkey ham)
1 cup canned diced tomatoes in juice
3 cups chopped fresh baby spinach
salt and pepper
grated Parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)

In a 3 or 4-quart saucepan, heat the oil. Add the onion and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in the garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute. Add the celery and carrots and continue to sauté for 1 minute. [Cook’s tip: since I am already using the saucepan for the stock, I used a large skillet, like my 12 inch Calphalon Everyday skillet to sauté the vegetables]

Add the stock, lentils, bay leaves, and red pepper. Bring to a boil. Decrease the heat and simmer 1 ½ to 2 hours or until the lentils are tender. [Cook’s tip: Instead of adding the stock to the skillet, I added the vegetables to the stock in the saucepan]

Stir in the ham and tomato and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Add the spinach and adjust the seasonings; simmer for 5 more minutes. Remove from the heat and serve with grated Parmesan cheese for garnish, if desired.