Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Funghi Trifolata

Funghi trifolata is Italian for mushroom sauce. First things first. The camera is back! Yeah! It was indeed the memory card so a huge sigh of relief on my part.

The weather has been getting warmer which means I like to eat lighter foods and spend even less time in the kitchen! I enjoy some of the shows on the Food Network Channel and I visit their website regularly for ideas and inspiration! I found a very simple but healthy pasta dish that isn't tomato based by Mario Batali. It has ingredients that you most likely have in your kitchen and takes no more than 30 minutes!

This recipe was rated 'easy' though the recipe calls for making the pasta from scratch. The recipe and ingredients are simple but I imagine it would take longer than the suggested 10 minutes of prep and 20 minutes of cook time for a first timer.

Serves 3-4
Time: 30 minutes

-5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
-1 medium (1 c) Spanish onion, diced
-2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
-8 ounces fresh porcini or cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced, plus 4 mushrooms thinly sliced
-salt to taste
-1/4 c freshly grated Parmesan
-1/4 c chopped Italian parsley

My modifications
This recipe actually calls for home made pasta but since there are so many quality pastas available in the grocery store, I didn't bother. I used 4 tbsp olive oil rather than 5 and found that this was just right for 14 oz. Of pasta. I used Tinkyada Brown Rice Fettucini (14 oz). I also minced the garlic as opposed to slice because I wasn't careful about reading the directions! And I used cremini because they are cheaper than porcini.

Get the pasta going. Heat oil on medium heat in a good sized non-stick saute pan. Add garlic, onions, mushrooms, and saute for about 5 minutes. Add salt to taste and pasta, along with 1/2 c pasta cooking water, and toss quickly. Add remaining 4 sliced mushrooms and toss again, off heat. Serve immediately, with grated cheese and chopped parsley.

It is really important that you add enough salt because the salt really enhances to flavor of this dish. In fact, I think next time I make this dish, I will cook the pasta with salt as the package suggested. I didn't like the flavor of the 4 mushrooms that were added later. They didn't cook enough in the heat and were a bit a firm which I didn't care for.

Overall though, this was a great dish. So simple, so tasty, so light! A great warm weather dish.

As an aside, I've been reading about cool characteristics of various ingredients that I thought I would pass along.

-Extra virgin olive oil reduces bad cholesterol and maintains good cholesterol while various vegetable oils reduce both.

-Mushrooms contain substantial amounts of B vitamins, selenium, copper and other trace minerals. They also contain antibacterial and other medicinal substances such as triterpenoids, which is an anti-tumor compound.

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