Monday, June 25, 2012

Pasta with Mushrooms, Sun Dried Tomatoes, and Pine Nuts

 Ok, ok,  I know I always say that everything is easy, but seriously, I have to say it again! This is was so easy to make, you won't believe it. You just throw a few sauce ingredients in the pan, toss it with some cooked pasta and boom, there's your dinner. I made it for Chris and Claire because Claire requested something with sun dried tomatoes and mushrooms. I found this recipe from and old issue of Bon Appétit and it was exactly what I wanted (well, after I tweaked it a little!) And it was a huge hit! It's as perfect for an elegant dinner as it is for a Sunday summer supper when you don't really feel like cooking. Try it!

15 sun dried tomatoes
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 lb baby Portobello mushrooms (or more), sliced
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 cup white wine
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb pasta (any kind)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts (preferably toasted)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Place sun-dried tomatoes in small bowl. Pour 2 cups boiling chicken stock over them. Let stand until tomatoes soften, about 15 minutes. Drain tomatoes, reserving soaking liquid. Thinly slice tomatoes.
Spray large nonstick skillet generously with vegetable oil spray. Add mushrooms and onions. Saute for a bit, just until softened. Add garlic and continue to cook a few minutes longer. Add wine, reserved tomato soaking liquid, and sliced tomatoes. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until liquids are reduced by half and vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook, pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup pasta water. 
  Pour the sauce over the pasta. Add Parmesan cheese and pine nuts. Toss, adding a little reserved pasta water if it's too dry. Mix in basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

I was a little heavy handed with the pine nuts, tomatoes, and basil, because frankly I LOVE pine nuts, tomatoes and fresh basil. Like Mom always said "If you like a lot, add a lot!"
When cooking with wine, be sure to choose a wine that you would drink, and then you can serve the rest of the bottle with dinner! Oh, and  NEVER ever use anything labeled "cooking wine". It's really not very good at all.
Instead of reconstituting the sun dried tomatoes, you can use the ones that come in a jar packed in oil. Just be sure to add chicken stock to the sauce.
To make this a vegetarian dish, simply use vegetable stock or just plain water instead of chicken stock.
On the flip side, you can easily add chicken or sausage. Just cut up the sausage or boneless chicken and saute it before you add everything else to the pan.

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