Yields: about 6 servings Prep Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes
This vegetarian dish is incredibly hearty, using meaty Portobello mushrooms and shredded kale as part of a flavorful garlic and shallot infused cheesy sauce.
10 ounces whole wheat (or gluten free) pasta
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups finely diced Portobello mushrooms
1 cup lacinato or curly kale, finely shredded
1 tablespoon garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon shallot, finely minced
1 cup quality vegetable stock
1/2 cup cream cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
3/4 teaspoon salt
Parsley and Parmesan cheese for garnish
1. Cook pasta according to directions and set aside.
2. In a sauce pan, heat butter, olive oil, finely diced mushrooms, shredded kale, garlic and shallot. Sauté for a few minutes until vegetables soften.
3. Add vegetable stock, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese and salt. Stir well on medium to low heat until all melted.
4. Here is where you can end the process and simply serve over the pasta. However, due to texture issues within my peanut gallery, I took my handheld immersion blender and ran it through the cream sauce to make it a little creamier and less chunky. Garnish with fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese.
Believe it or not, my kids actually like mushrooms. One eats them raw, while the other two think that’s gross. Two of them enjoy sautéed mushrooms in butter, salt and minced garlic. But the third does not like the texture. However, they all like creamy noodles and the underlying ‘umami’ (likened to a strong meaty taste) flavor of cooked mushrooms. So, I took this factor and created a creamy mushroom noodle dish.
I chose Portobello mushrooms because they have a great meaty texture without being too much of a “woodsy” addition. These mushrooms are also delicious when cooked, and blend wonderfully with cheese, especially Parmesan.
Nutritionally, Portobellos are light on calories, but can be very filling due to their meatiness. Mushrooms are known for immune boosting properties, minerals such as phosphorus and potassium, as well as many B vitamins. Meanwhile, kale is rich in vitamins A, C and K, fiber as well as folic acid.
You can mix the noodles into the sauce for full coverage from the start, or simply spoon on the cream sauce to the plain noodles. The benefit of the latter, is that when working with picky palates, you can introduce the flavors slowly and don’t waste food. We did this to begin with my youngest. Ironically, she was the one eating the cream sauce by the spoonfuls!
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