24 August 2011

Creamy Pasta with Mushrooms

The creaminess in this sauce comes from goat cheese, which instantly melts into the hot pasta.  Once you've made this ridiculously simple, super-flavorful meal, you’ll never want to fuss with heavy, gloppy Alfredo sauce again!

Serves 2

2 cups whole grain rotini pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ yellow onion, sliced into thin half-rings
8 oz. cremini mushrooms, cleaned and roughly chopped
2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/8 cup frozen peas
4 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs 
Salt and pepper to taste
2 oz. goat cheese
2-3 tablespoons toasted walnuts 

In a medium saucepan, bring salted water to boil and cook pasta al dente.  

Meanwhile, heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet.  When it shimmers, add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until they are soft and fragrant, about 10 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until they soften and become watery.  Add the garlic, herbs, and balsamic vinegar, reduce heat to medium low, and cook until garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Toss in the peas and heat (don’t let the peas get mushy--they should remain green).  

Drain the cooked pasta and stir in the goat cheese to make a creamy sauce.  Fold the pasta mixture into the mushrooms in the skillet and incorporate thoroughly; season with more salt and pepper if you like.  Garnish with toasted walnuts or serve in a small bowl alongside the dish.  

Try it with Sangiovese or a Chianti.