Fresh Pasta with Mushrooms & Tomatoes

mushroom pasta

Patience has never been one of my virtues. When it comes getting to a meal ready when I’m hungry, patience goes go out the window. I try to cook nutritional food, even when I’m tired. The peanut-butter-and-jelly-sandwich-and-ramen-noodle-diet that sustained me through college will not do anymore. I’ve learned to take better care of myself. With age comes wisdom.

Spontaneity is also part of my personality. This can be a good thing (or not), depending on the situation. My scientist-husband told me that he knew he wanted to marry me because I wasn’t boring. This confirmed that fly-by-the-seat-of-one’s-pants-types can be loved by methodical, highly-organized types. There are times when I question the value of my spontaneity. Whipping up dinner when I have only have  45 minutes left before I have to leave for work, while simultaneously working on several other things, is more of a train-wreck situation than a carefree one. Luckily this dinner is a  no brainer.    
Pasta tossed with lots of sauteed mushrooms and bright cherry tomatoes is the recipe of the day. Earthy mushrooms, tangy tomatoes and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice make it a hit in my home.
Healthy and wholesome and ready in under 30 minutes.

 

pasta

 

 Fresh Pasta with Mushrooms and Tomatoes Recipe

Serves 4

Some notes:

I use fresh, pillow-soft, cavatelli for this recipe. It’s made with a little ricotta cheese. I buy it from Fior D’ Italia. They use only the finest ingredients and all natural products:http://thepastaman.com/.    

You can substitute any fresh or dried pasta you like. I’d go for a smaller shaped pasta like penne. This sauce will go well with cheese or meat ravioli too.

Use whatever herbs you like. I happen to love oregano and parsley. It would be great with basil or rosemary too.

Serve this pasta dish with a simple green salad and some crusty bread.


Ingredients:

  • 2 pints of ripe cherry or grape tomatoes. Sliced or quartered, depending on their size
  • 1 16 oounce container of mushrooms, slice them thinly. You can use regular button mushrooms. I used cremini.
  • 1-2 garlic cloves minced. I used one clove. I minced it on a microplane zester.
  • 1 small lemon, zested. Reserve the zest. I used a microplane zester.
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano. When adding it to the pan, rub it between your fingers to release its flavor.
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • A good handful of chopped flat leaf parsley
  • Two 12 ounce packages of fresh smaller shaped pasta or fresh ravioli
  • For serving: grated Parmesan cheese, red chili flakes, drizzle of olive oil


Instructions:

Put a pot of water on the stove and cook the pasta according to the package directions. If using fresh pasta, taste it as it cooks. Don’t over cook it. It’ll go mushy quickly. It should be soft  but al dente when it’s done.

Place a large nonstick fry pan on the stove. Heat the olive oil in the pan on medium or medium high. Add the sliced mushrooms, salt and pepper and saute them until they’re soft and tender. It may seem like a lot of mushrooms, but they’ll cook down. Once the mushrooms are done, add the minced garlic, lemon zest, oregano and tomatoes. Add a little more salt and pepper. Saute the tomatoes until they’re warmed through and the garlic has lost some of its bite. Add the parsley and a squirt or two of fresh lemon juice. Toss with the pasta and garnish with the cheese and/or red chili pepper flakes (if using) and a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!
 

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