Monday, October 3, 2011

September 30: Creamed Mushroom Saute with Artichoke Hearts, Spinach, and Penne

1 pound penne pasta
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 1/2 pounds assorted mushrooms, such as cremini, portobello, shiitake, or fresh porcini, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme plus a few sprigs for garnish
   Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock or broth
1/2 cup cream or half-and-half
1 15-ounce can quartered artichoke hearts, drained well
1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and wrung dry in a kitchen towel
1/4 teaspoon grated or ground nutmeg
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and salt and cook until al dente.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the EVOO and butter. When the butter melts, add the garlic and shallots and swish around for 30 seconds, then add the mushrooms and combine.

Sprinkle the chopped thyme over the mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms, stirring frequently, until they brown. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more, stirring to evenly distribute. Whisk the wine into the pan first and cook it off for a minute, then whisk in the stock. Thicken the stock for a minute, then add the cream. Stir the artichoke hearts into the sauce. Break up the spinach and add to the sauce. Stir to heat through and add the nutmeg.

Adjust the salt and pepper to taste. Add the drained penne and cheese to the pan and toss to combine.


This meal is pretty good, and my daughter, Susanna, really liked it. I changed it just a little. I ran out of penne, so I used some leftover macaroni, I ran out of Parmesan, so I used some Provolone. I'm sure that made a big difference. I accidentally forgot to add the thyme during the cooking, so I sprinkled it on at the end. Looks like I need to pay more attention when I'm buying ingredients. Anyway, the only thing I changed to the actual recipe was to change the Parmigiano-Reggiano to Parmesan. Oh, and she doesn't say what to do with the toast, so I just omitted it.

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