Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Portobello and Spinach Penne

Portobello and Spinach Penne
serves about 4

Here's What You're Gonna Need:

3-4 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced
1 tsp red pepper seeds (less if you're a wimp)

16 oz portobello mushroom caps (about 4 large caps), cut in half and sliced thin (gills on or off, your call)
2 tsp dried basil (we'll rock this fresh come spring and I'll let you know the adjustment)
12 oz fresh spinach (baby spinach or big leaves torn up to look like the heads of presidents)

4 Tbs butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups milk (skim or 2% -- Cream or half and half is delicious and a convenient and mess-free way to off someone via heart attack. But you didn't hear that here.)
3 Tbs soy sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

10-12 oz. whole grain or "Plus" penne
salt & pepper to taste
grated Parmesan, optional

And Here's What You're Gonna Do:

Don't be afraid of the lengthy instructions--it's not as complicated as it looks.

Preheat the oven to 350. Salt your pasta water and get it boiling.

Get yourself a big ass pan with a lid. Saute the garlic and red pepper seeds in a couple of table spoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium low heat for about 2-3 minutes, or until garlic starts to speak (preferably in a deep and sultry voice). Don't burn it or let it turn brown--we're just trying to flavor the oil here.

Add portobellos and basil, and allow the mushrooms to get soft and give up some of their moisture-about 3 minutes. You can use a little more olive oil here if you need to.

Add spinach to the pan in fist fulls, tossing in the oil and mushrooms as you go. Once the spinach is coated, knock the heat down to low, put the cover on the pot, and let it sit for five or ten minutes while you pour yourself a glass of wine and gather the other ingredients and get your penne cooking. You want it to come out al dente. I take mine off one minute before the instructions on the package say to.

Once the spinach is wilted, transfer the mushroom and spinach mixture to a holding bowl while you rock the sauce. You don't need to wash your pan, just get the big pieces of mushrooms and spinach out.

Back to the pan! The butter goes in over medium low heat. Once it's melted, whisk in the flour until it's smooth and golden brown. Slowly add the milk and continue to whisk so it starts to thicken. Stir in the soy sauce, then the cheese. Let it all melt and give it a couple of good stirs.

Put the pasta back in the pan with the cheese sauce. Stir in the mushroom and spinach mixture. Give it a taste and season with salt and pepper if you would like to do so. Mine was good as is.

Transfer everything to a lightly greased 9x13 baking dish. Top with grated parm if you would like to, then put it in the oven for 20 minutes. Eat and be glad.


  1. Making this tonight!! YUM :)

  2. Love the new site! This dish looks amazing too...yum.

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  4. I just finished eating this wonderful dish for dinner. It was excellent! I will be back for more delicious recipes! Thank you so much!


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