Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Penne with Garlic Roasted Mushrooms
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I wish I had the ability to spin words in such a way that you would be convinced, at least for a moment, that I have a gourmet pasta to share with you today. Truth is, this homely dish is made from odds and ends found in my pantry and fridge at the end of the holidays. The mushrooms were my bad. They had been purchased to stuff, but for lots of reasons, some of them actually legitimate, that never happened. The rest of the ingredients are standard pantry fare, so the dish is really the result of a game of mix and match. It sounds quite ordinary, but the garlic and herbed roasted mushrooms take this pasta to a whole nother level. Roasting releases heady woodland flavors that you won't encounter when the mushrooms are sauteed or baked at a lower level, and the scant juices they exude add a real boost to the taste of the finished pasta. This was wonderful when made with large crimini mushrooms, but I suspect it would been even more flavorful had wild mushrooms been available for use. This dish is very easy to prepare, but the mushrooms take time to roast, so you should plan on at least an hour to get the pasta on the table. This rustic dish is not particularly attractive, but it makes up in earthy and satisfying flavor what it lacks in eye appeal. Don't slice the mushrooms too thinly. Mine were about 1/3 to 1/2-inch thick and that worked out well. They retained some shape and added a meaty type resistance to the finished dish.This pasta is substantial enough to be served as an entree and it would be a perfect choice for a Meatless Monday dinner. I don't think this reheats well. Unlike most dishes that improve with age, I thought the lovely woodsy flavor of the freshly made dish disappeared when it was refrigerated overnight. If you enjoy mushrooms, I suspect you'll like this pasta and I hope you will give it a try. Here's the recipe.
Penne with Garlic Roasted Mushrooms...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
2 pounds assorted mushrooms cleaned, stemmed and sliced or quartered
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
12 ounces dried penne
1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a large bowl, toss together cleaned, sliced mushrooms, garlic, olive oil, oregano, and basil. Turn mixture onto a large baking dish or rimmed cookie sheet large enough to hold them in a single layer.
2) Transfer pan to oven and roast, stirring periodically, until mushrooms release their juices, shrink, and begin to caramelize, about 30 to 35 minutes.
3) When mushrooms are nearly done, prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of cooking water. Add pan contents to pasta along with parsley, green onions and Parmesan cheese. Add reserved pasta water by tablespoons to form a sauce that naps pasta. Toss well and serve immediately. Yield: 4 servings.
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