Pulled Pork Mac N Cheese with Mushrooms

A modern take on a classic, this pulled pork mac n cheese combines sweet and tangy barbeque pork with cheesy macaroni. A medley of roasted mushrooms folds nicely into this dish adding a pleasant umami-rich surprise! 

Recipe developed in partnership with Ontario Pork.

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

Ingredients

Pulled Pork:
2-3 lb (0.9 – 1.3 kg) Ontario pork shoulder
Salt and pepper
1 cup (250 mL) root beer
1 cup (250 mL) of barbeque sauce (of your choice)
Mac N Cheese:
1 lb (500 g) fresh mixed mushrooms (portabella, shiitake, oyster), coarsely chopped
2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
3 cups (750 mL) rigatoni pasta (cooked until al dente)
3 cups (750 mL) milk
½ large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ tbsp (7 mL) Italian herbs
2 tbsp (30 mL) butter
2 tbsp (30 mL) flour
1 tbsp (15 mL) Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 cups (750 mL) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
¼ cup (60 mL) chopped cilantro

Method

1. Season all sides of pork with salt and pepper. Place pork in slow cooker with root beer and barbeque sauce. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Remove pork from slow cooker to drain liquid. Place back in slow cooker and using a fork or tongs, shred pork and remove excess fat. Add more barbeque sauce if you wish. Cover and return to low.
2. Place chopped mushrooms on a large baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Roast mushrooms in a 400°F oven for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through. Set aside.
3. In a large pot, cook pasta until al dente. Set aside.
4. In a large pot combine milk, onion, garlic, and Italian herbs; bring to a simmer for 10 minutes, allowing for flavours to steep. Pour through a strainer and return to pot.
5. In another large saucepan melt butter and whisk in flour to make a roux. Slowly begin to whisk in seasoned milk; this will make a paste. Continue whisking until all milk has been added. Whisk over medium-low heat until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Add Dijon, salt and pepper.
6. Transfer cooked pasta to a large casserole dish. Mix in roasted mushrooms, cheese, and sauce. Top with approximately 3 cups of pulled pork (rest can be reserved).
7. Bake at 350°F/175°C until cheese is completely melted, approximately 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro.
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Three Ingredient Italian Sausage and Mushroom Bolognese

This Three Ingredient Italian Sausage and Mushroom Bolognese is one of those wonderful 30-minute meals. It uses a couple of cheater ingredients—Italian sausage and a jarred tomato sauce (no shame in that, folks)—to create the kind of flavour that would normally require a much bigger list of ingredients and longer cooking time.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Sarah from Kiwi & Bean.

Prep Time: 5 mins. | Cook Time: 25 mins. | Serves: 4

Ingredients

1 pound good quality Italian sausages
½ pound (~227 grams) mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 to 4 cups good quality jarred tomato pasta sauce (amount depends on your preference for saucy vs. chunky)
Cooked pasta, for serving (**start the water boiling before you make the sauce and your pasta should be ready just in time)

Method

1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Squeeze the sausage meat out of the casings and into the pan, breaking it up with the back of a wooden spoon.
2. Stir the sausage occasionally until it is browned and almost cooked through.
3. Push the sausage to one side of the pan and add the mushrooms. Let the mushrooms brown on one side, then flip them over to brown on the other side.
4. Stir in the tomato pasta sauce, bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer the sauce for about 5-10 minutes.
5. Serve over the cooked pasta, garnishing with chopped fresh parsley and parmesan cheese if desired.

Wild Mushroom Fettuccine

Recipe courtesy of Kelly from The Gouda Life.

Prep Time: 10 mins. | Cook Time: 20 mins.

Ingredients

1lb wild mushrooms (porcini, crimini, oyster, shiitake etc)
3/4 pound fettuccine
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, rough chopped
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tbsp fresh Italian/flat-leaf parsley, rough chopped
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
sea salt & fresh ground pepper
extra Parmesan to serve (optional)
extra parsley to serve (optional)

 

Method

1. Bring a large pot of generously-salted (very important as this dish is so simple) water to a boil and cook pasta to just under al dente according to package instructions. If the package says 9 minutes, take out around 7. Reserve 1 cup of starchy pasta water before straining.
2. In a dry, heavy-bottom skillet set over medium-high heat, brown mushrooms in batches until golden and crisp. I browned each variety of mushroom on its own as they may have different moisture levels. It should take about 6-7 minutes per batch to get them nice and golden – don’t rush this part. It’s the big flavour maker!
3. Once all your mushrooms have been browned, remove everything from the pan. Add the butter and olive oil to pan and let it get shimmering and hot. Add the garlic and let it cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the mushrooms, parsley and red pepper flakes and sauté until everything is combined, 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.
4. Strain pasta (don’t forget to reserve 1 cup starchy water), and add back to large pot. Scoop the mushroom mixture into the pasta, making sure to really scrape all the good bits from the pan, with the Parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup of starch water and toss. If it’s too dry, add more water a little at a time until you’ve got a nice, loose mushroom sauce coating all the noodles. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed.
5. Garnish each serving with pine nuts, extra cheese, parsley and fresh ground pepper.

Mushroom Soba Noodle Salad

This salad showcases the many flavours of the dressing with a great texture because of the soft noodles and crunchy vegetables. The addition of the mushrooms makes for an even more inspiring plethora of flavours and there really is a party in your mouth.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Elizabeth from Guilty Kitchen.

Prep Time: 20 mins. | Cook Time: 8 mins. | Makes: 2 entree sized portion.

Ingredients

4oz buckwheat soba noodles (I used Sobaya wheat and buckwheat brand)
1 tsp oil
6 large white or brown mushrooms, sliced
1/4 of a large red cabbage (about 1/4 lb.), shredded or finely sliced
3 small carrots, grated
4 green onions, chopped
1 large avocado, cubed
For the dressing:
1 clove garlic, minced or grated on a microplane
1 inch of fresh ginger, finely minced or grated on a microplane
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp Tamari or other soy sauce (low sodium)
1 tbsp Mirin
1 tbsp Ponzu
1 tsp fish sauce
juice of 1 lemon
1 jalapeno, finely minced
1/4 cup minced cilantro
black or white sesame seeds, for garnish

Method

1. In a medium sized saucepan, fill with water to within two inches of the top. Add salt to taste (about 2 tsp for a 4-6 cup pot). Set to a boil.
2. Add pasta when water boils and cook for 6-8 minutes or until tender. (al dente doesn’t work too well in this recipe)
3. Drain the noodles and run them under cold water for a minute. Set aside to drain.
4. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat the oil. Add the mushrooms and sauté for about 8 minutes or until slightly golden and soft. Remove from heat and set aside.
5. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, carrots, onions and avocado. Set aside.
For the dressing:
1. Mix the garlic, ginger, oil, Tamari, Mirin, Ponzu, fish sauce and lemon juice in a small bowl.
2. Add the jalapeno and cilantro and stir. Set aside.
Assemble your salad:
1. In the bowl full of vegetables, add the cooked mushrooms and the noodles. Pour the dressing over and toss to coat. Serve on plates with a sprinkle of sesame seeds as garnish.

Mushroom Ravioli

When I thought of what I could put into raviolis next, the first thing that came to mind was mushrooms. They are so very flavourful and absorb anything you put with them, intensifying all that delicious savoury goodness. Mixed with a little fresh herbs, wine and cream (and bacon!) what else could you possibly need?

Recipe and photo courtesy of Elizabeth from Guilty Kitchen.

Prep Time: 1 hr. 30 mins. | Cook Time: 1 hr.

Ingredients

For the pasta:
1 cup semolina flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs
For the Filling:
2 tbsp butter
1/2 large onion, diced very fine
1 clove garlic, grated or minced
300g white or brown mushrooms, diced very fine
1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely minced
50-75g cream cheese
For the Sauce:
1 clove garlic, minced or grated
1/4 cup butter
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely minced
kosher or sea salt to taste
fresh ground pepper to taste
35g cream cheese
1/4 cup white wine
4 strips thick cut bacon, diced

Method

For the pasta:
1. In a large bowl, combine the two flours and salt.
2. Make a well in the flour and crack in the eggs.
3. Get messy! Dig in with your bare hands and squish and mix and mash until the egg and flour are completely incorporated. Continue to knead for about 10 minutes, or until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
4. Form into a ball, cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rest for 30-90 minutes.
5. Cut the dough into two pieces and get yourself a small bowl of water.
6. On a heavily floured surface, roll out the dough until it’s almost see through. VERY thin. Cut into long strips with a pizza cutter or knife about 3 or 4 inches wide and then repeat in a perpendicular direction. you should be creating squares that are 3 to 4 inches.
7. Heap a large tbsp or so onto each square, wet the edges with water and place a second square over top. Pinch the edges together and set aside on another floured surface. You can cover with another damp kitchen towel here to prevent the pasta from drying out.
8. Continue until you run out of dough and filling.
9. To cook your pasta, boil a large pot filled with at least 8 cups of water and add about 1 tbsp of salt (make the water almost to ocean saltiness), bring to a boil, toss in the pasta and cook for about 4 minutes.
10. Remove and drain.
For the Filling:
1. In a large, heavy bottomed sauté pan, heat the butter, garlic and onions.
2. Add the mushrooms and rosemary and continue to sauté until everything is cooked through, about 7 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and stir in the cream cheese. Set aside until cool and then fill your pasta!
For the Sauce:
1. In a heavy bottomed sauté pan, cook your bacon until desired crispness, set aside on kitchen towels to drain.
2. Wipe out pan and heat butter and garlic until the butter has melted and begun to bubble.
3. Add in the rosemary, salt and pepper. Stir and cook 2 minutes.
4. Add the wine and reduce down by half.
5. Remove from heat and stir in the cream cheese. Toss hot, drained pasta fresh from the pot in the sauce. Plate, sprinkle with bacon and serve!
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