Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mushroom and Garlic Penne

This is an excellent vegetarian meal; the type of meal where you really don't miss the meat at all. It’s simple, it’s delicious, and it’s affordable.  I like to serve it with a glass of our local Lakeridge Cuvee Noir or a nice dry but fruity Merlot.

I made this a few weeks ago.  I will be making it again very soon. 

Mushroom and Garlic Penne
Serves 4


1 pound penne pasta
1 pound Crimini (Baby Bella) mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
4 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove elephant garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoons tomato paste
2/3 cup dry but fruity red wine or low sodium beef broth*
Fresh chopped chives, optional
Grated Parmesan and Romano cheese, for passing at the table

*If using broth instead of wine, cut down on the amount of added salt.

Cook pasta per package directions.  Meanwhile, slice mushrooms. 

Add half of the butter to a hot skillet along with the olive oil.  Add mushrooms.  Sauté over medium heat for five minutes, until mushrooms are browned to your liking.

Add remaining oil and butter along with the elephant garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper.  Stir and continue to cook for one minute.

Stir in tomato paste and add wine.  Simmer lightly until wine reduces by half.

Note:  If your sauce thickens too quickly, thin it out with a little of the starchy cooking water from the pasta.

Drain pasta.  Top with mushroom sauce, fresh chives and cheese.

Note:  Elephant garlic is sweeter and milder than regular garlic.  The cloves are large.  You can easily find it in your supermarket produce section.   If you cannot, you can substitute ½ tablespoon of regular garlic or one small chopped shallot for a variation of flavor.

Note:  Not an endorsement for the wine.

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