Looking to satisfy a craving for an earthy, rustic dinner, I decided that the cremini mushrooms staring back at me from the bottom shelf on my refrigerator were what I’d start with. At the market this afternoon, I picked up a package of boneless chicken thighs to use for our pasta dish, but I felt the mushrooms are meaty enough, so put the thighs in the freezer to use next week. I also had a package of spinach I needed to use, as well as mini heirloom tomatoes that were reaching their peak.
I started by roasting my cremini mushrooms in a drizzle of olive oil, kosher salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and a tablespoon of refrigerated, roasted garlic. You can certainly use fresh garlic, which is what I normally use, but spotted this in the refrigerator and decided I’d use that.
I roasted my mushrooms in a preheated 425 degree oven for 30 minutes.
Mushrooms really shrink down, so this is all I had left of a 20 ounce package.
I boiled a package of linguini along with a few handfuls of fresh spinach leaves.
While the noodles were boiling, I made my sauce. I’m not a fan of heavy sauces, which is why I chose to make an olive oil and heirloom tomato based sauce. I started with a half cup of olive oil, about five shakes of red pepper flakes, and the rest of the garlic and juice from the roasted garlic jar. There was only a tablespoon left after I used what I did on the mushrooms (the jar was only a third full when I started my dinner tonight).
I then added about 8 ounces of mini heirloom tomatoes to the olive oil and garlic and let it cook for about 5 minutes, until the tomatoes were starting to soften.
Once the noodles and spinach were cooked, I added them directly into the sauce – without draining them. I like to add the noodles using a pasta server or a spider, leaving the water in the pot – in case I need to loosen the sauce a bit. I did not need any extra water tonight, but I always do it like this … just in case.
Once I adde the pasta to the sauté pan, I added the mushrooms I had roasted – making sure to scrape any of the extra olive oil and garlic off the pan into the sauce. I didn’t want to lose any of that extra flavor!
I tossed everything together before placing it in serving bowls and topping with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
I really enjoyed the meatiness of the cremini mushrooms in this dish. I told Dennis I think this may be my new favorite pasta dinner – I’m so happy I had leftovers. My Dad always said “if it tastes good the first time, it tastes even better the second time around”.
1 pound dried linguini noodles, cooked
24 ounce package of cremini mushrooms, stems removed and tossed, caps cut in half.
1/2 cup olive oil plus a drizzle for mushrooms
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, divided
3 tablespoons roasted garlic, divided, plus liquid from the jar
3 handfuls fresh spinach
8 ounces mini heirloom tomatoes
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Place cut mushrooms on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Add 2 tablespoons roasted, minced garlic. Roast for 30 minutes.
- Boil water for noodles. Cook noodles and spinach together.
- In large sauté pan, add olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon roasted, minced garlic and liquid left from jar of garlic.
- Add tomatoes to pan and sauté for 5-10 minutes, until tomatoes start to soften.
- Add cooked noodles and spinach to sauté pan, reserving some of the pasta water in case you need to loosen your sauce.
- Add roasted mushrooms, making sure to scrape the garlic from the pan to the noodles and toss together.
- Serve with grated parmesan.
Until next time, Kris