Fresh Pasta with a Crimini and Porcini Mushroom Sauce

My dad has always believed in the importance of using real ingredients in the kitchen, no matter what the dish; so if you want high quality taste, use high quality ingredients. Using real butter and real cream is essential to this dish! The quantities for this recipe are sufficient to feed a group of 6 hungry adults, so you will need to scale it back proportionately for a smaller yield. 

Recipe courtesy of Daniele and photos courtesy of Nina from Nina Polidoro Photography.

Prep Time: 40 mins. | Cook Time: 20 mins. | Serves: 6-8

Ingredients

1 ½ cups of 18% cream
150 g (6 0z) butter
1 cup chicken (or vegetable) stock
3 packages of fresh pasta
1 lb fresh crimini mushrooms
30 g dried porcini mushrooms
1/2 small onion
fresh parsley, grated parmesan cheese
salt, pepper (in Italian, this would be accompanied by “QB,” meaning “quanto basta” – “to your taste,” “as much as you like,” or “sufficiently”)

Method

1. Soak the dried porcini mushrooms in warm water for 30 minutes.
2. Clean and dry the crimini mushrooms. Chop mushrooms into large enough pieces that they can be found in the sauce (avoid chopping them too finely). Place into a bowl.
3. Finely chop a handful of fresh parsley.
4. Gently squeeze water from the porcini mushrooms, and collect 4-5 oz of the resulting mushroom juice; don’t use the grit in the bottom of the bowl! (You could also strain with a cheese cloth.)
5. Coarsely chop the soaked porcini mushrooms.
6. Finely chop ½ of a small onion.
7. Put on a big pot of water to boil – add a tablespoon of salt when the water starts simmering.
8. Set the table. Make it look pretty.
9. Melt butter in the pan on medium heat, bringing it to a sizzle.
10. Add onions, frying them until golden in colour – add the mushrooms, and bring the mixture to a high temperature. Allow this to cook for about 8 minutes, stirring regularly.
11. Add 3 pinches of parsley, and the mushroom juice (about 1 cup), chicken stock (1 cup – this could be substituted for vegetable stock, if you prefer), and cream (1 ½ cups).
12. Stir the sauce, and reduce to medium heat.
13. Add pepper to taste (or QB!)
14. Let the sauce simmer for a few minutes once the cream has been added; it may look like a lot of sauce in comparison to the amount of pasta you’re using, but the pasta will soak up some of the sauce.
15. Add pasta to boiling water, stir regularly to ensure it doesn’t stick (for this quantity of fresh pasta, this takes approximately 5-7 minutes to reach el dente).
16. Strain the pasta and add to sauce in a serving bowl. Garnish pasta with fresh parsley, and add grated parmesan to taste.

Fresh Oyster Mushroom Fettuccini with Sauteed Shiitakes

What I love about this recipe is that it features mushrooms two ways – infused right into the pasta dough, and then tossed in whole at the end. Working mushrooms right into the pasta dough is a great way to introduce them to little eaters who may be more particular about what’s on the their plate. As its fresh pasta you can use this mushroom noodle in a lasagna, fettuccini or spaghetti. The dough would make a perfect vehicle for a mushroom stuffed pasta as well.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Lisa from Food Well Said.

Prep Time: 30 mins. | Cook Time: 20 mins.

Ingredients

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cups fresh oyster mushrooms
8 ounces “00” flour (or AP flour), plus extra if needed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 and ½ cups shiitake mushrooms
1 tablespoon salt for the pasta water
¼ cup grated parmesan
handful of fresh thyme stems
handful of fresh pea shoots (optional)

Method

1. In a small frying pan, heat olive oil over med-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add oyster mushrooms and sauté for 3 – 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add to a small food processor or blender. Process until a smooth paste forms. Remove and spread onto a plate to cool. Set aside.
2. Measure out flour directly onto a large board or countertop and create a well in the middle. Add the two eggs, salt and room temperature oyster mushroom puree. Gently, using a fork, work the egg/mushrooms into the sides of the well of the flour mound until combined. Before starting to work the dough (and getting your hands dirty) scoop a small amount of flour on the side that you can pinch from if you need it. Begin to work the dough until well combined and knead for about ten minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge for one hour up to overnight.
3. Once the dough has rested, run it through a pasta maker as per machine instructions. For this recipe we cut it with the fettuccini attachment. Dry the pasta in small nests on the counter covered with a dish towel or hang to dry over a pasta dryer or back of a chair.
4. When ready to serve the dish, heat a large pot of water to boiling for the pasta. While waiting for it to boil, in a large frying pan heat butter over medium high heat and add garlic. Sauté for two minutes and then add the shiitake mushrooms. Sauté for about 5 – 7 minutes. Reduce to low.
5. Drop pasta into boiling water for about 4 minutes and instead of draining, use tongs to pull the pasta out and drop it into the sautéed mushrooms. It is okay if a little water is in the pan from the pasta. Over medium heat toss the mushroom, garlic and butter with the noodles until well coated. Top with fresh thyme, parmesan and a pea shoots (optional).

Easy Stuffed Portabella Pizza in a Cashew Basil Cheese Sauce

“These ridiculously cute and mouth-watering Portabella pizzas taste so much like the real thing you won’t believe they are vegan, gluten-free, and good for you! Shhh, don’t tell my husband.”

Recipe and photo courtesy of Angela from Oh She Glows.

Prep Time: 10 mins. | Cook Time: 12 mins. | Serves: 3-4

Ingredients

8 Portabella mushrooms
2 cups pizza sauce
Vegan Cashew Basil Cheese Sauce (recipe below)
1/3 cup each red, green, orange pepper, diced
1/3 cup sweet onion, diced
2-3 large basil leaves, finely diced
1 tsp red pepper flakes

Vegan Cashew Basil Cheese Sauce:
1 cup raw cashews
1/3-1/2 tsp Himalayan sea salt, to taste
1/2 tsp cold-pressed sunflower oil
1 fresh basil leaf
1 small clove garlic
1.5 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Method

  1. Preheat oven by setting the broiler on low. Take a baking sheet and cover with a silicone non-stick baking mat or parchment paper for easy clean up.
  2. Make your Vegan Cashew Basil cheese sauce by using the recipe below. Set aside.
  3. Remove stems of Portabellas and gently rub Portabellas with a wet cloth to clean. Place Portabellas ‘belly’ side up on the baking sheet. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of pizza sauce into each Portabella. Now spoon about 2 teaspoons of Vegan Cashew basil Cheese Sauce on top of the pizza sauce (see recipe below). Grab a cutting board and knife and chop the onion and pepper and then sprinkle onto Portabellas. Finally, shake on some red pepper flakes and sprinkle finely diced basil on top.
  4. Broil in the oven on the lowest temperature setting on the middle rack for about 10-12 minutes, watching closely as broiler temperatures vary. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Vegan Basil Cheese Sauce:
1. Place 1 cup of raw cashews in a bowl of water, cover, and soak overnight in the fridge.
2. When cashews are ready, drain and place all ingredients (cashews, Himalayan sea salt, cold-pressed sunflower oil, basil, garlic, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice) into a food processor and process until smooth, stopping to scrape sides of processor as necessary. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
3. Place any leftover cheese in a container in the fridge and enjoy with chopped vegetables, crackers, bread, and chips!

Easy Crockpot Beef Stew

This beef stew is as easy as “set it and forget it!” Simply toss all your meat, veggies and seasonings into the crockpot and simmer on low all day. By dinner you’ll have a fragrant and delicious Fall meal the family will love. Any leftovers can be packaged up and refrigerated, and believe me, this stew is even better the next day!

Recipe and photo courtesy of Brittany from My Daily Randomness.

Prep Time: 15 mins. | Cook Time: 6 hrs.

Ingredients

1 ½ lbs. stewing beef
1 medium onion, diced
3 stalks of celery, diced
3 carrots, diced
6-8 small new potatoes, quartered or diced
1 package (8oz) sliced crimini mushrooms
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp herbs de provence
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
Salt and pepper
2 ½ cups beef stock
3 tbsp flour (optional)

Method

1. Combine beef, onion, celery, carrot, potatoes, mushrooms, tomato paste, garlic, herbs, allspice, salt & pepper and beef stock in crockpot. Give it one big stir to ensure all the seasonings are evenly distributed. Set crockpot to low and cook stew for 6-8 hours.
2. In the last hour of cooking, remove lid and sprinkle in flour. Stir until well combined. This will help to thicken the stew. If you prefer your stew a little runnier, you can omit the flour.
3. Serve hot with a slice of crusty bread for mopping up all the beefy goodness!

Deconstructed Stuffed Pepper Casserole

Finely chopped mushrooms look very similar to ground beef, so it blends in seamlessly and little watchful eyes are none the wiser. Not only is it a fantastic way to boost vitamin and mineral intake, such as Vitamin D, iron, and zinc, it helps add volume to dishes, extending the serving portions.

Recipe and photo courtesy of The Brunette Baker.

Prep Time: 10 mins. | Cook Time: 25 mins. | Serves: 4

Ingredients

1 pound lean ground beef
1 punnet white mushrooms, chopped
¾ cup onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper
2 cups red, orange, yellow, OR green bell peppers, coarsely chopped
2 cups long grain white rice or brown rice, cooked
1 jar of your favourite spaghetti sauce
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Prepare a 3-quart baking dish by lightly spraying with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, brown ground beef, mushrooms, and onion. Halfway into the cooking process, add in peppers and garlic. Once peppers are tender, drain excess fat. Return meat to the stove and add in worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.
  3. Stir in cooked rice and spaghetti sauce. Spoon mixture into prepared dish, top with cheddar cheese.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or heated through.
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