Hello mushroom-lovers! Sarah here from (Cooking for) Kiwi & Bean, a food blog where I share no-sweat, super simple, family-friendly recipes that anyone (repeat: ANYONE) can make!
I'm really excited to be guest-blogging here on the Mushrooms Canada blog today because I am a true mushroom fiend. I grew up on a weekly dose of my dad's famous "mushrooms and onions". He cooked them on the barbecue in a little foil pouch, with lots of butter and salt, and we all fought over the last spoonful.
Mushrooms now figure prominently in my own recipes, in part because I love 'em and in part because they are the perfect ingredient for time-strapped family cooks: quick-cooking, inexpensive, and readily available all year round. Over on Kiwi & Bean, you will find them stirred into risotto, folded into burgers, mixed into pasta sauce, and roasted with gooey cheese and caramelized onions. Yum.
Today I'm sharing a mushroom-packed pasta, which is not only delicious but a great option if you share your house with a four-year-old mushroom-skeptic, as I do. The skeptics can easily pluck the mushrooms out (until that day when they realize that mushrooms are DELICIOUS!) while the rest of the family gets their mushroom fix.
The recipe calls for you to caramelize the mushrooms, which sounds super fancy but really just means cook those suckers until they turn a golden caramel-brown colour. If you've never enjoyed mushrooms cooked that way, you are in for a real treat.
The golden mushrooms are tossed with flavourful sausage (go to a good butcher and get the best stuff you can find), winter greens (I used Swiss Chard, but any hardy green will do), penne, parmesan cheese, and a drizzle of olive oil. The result is a super-satisfying, tasty pasta skillet that is simple and quick enough for a busy weeknight, and fancy enough to put in front of some weekend dinner guests. (Mushroom skeptics not invited.)
Penne with Sausage, Caramelized Mushrooms and Winter Greens
Prep Time: 20 mins. | Cook Time: 20 mins.
½ pound to ¾ pound penne pasta
2 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
½ pound (227 grams) white button mushrooms, sliced
1 pound very flavourful Italian sausage (spicy or mild)
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 very large bunch of Swiss Chard, kale or rapini, well-rinsed and finely chopped
½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Cook the penne according to package directions. Rinse with cold water and set it aside.
While the pasta water is boiling, heat 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring and flipping them occasionally, until all the water has evaporated and the mushrooms take on a caramel-brown hue. This might take as long as 10 minutes. You can chop the greens and grate the cheese in the meantime.
When the mushrooms are nicely browned, remove them to a small plate and set aside. Then squeeze the sausage meat out of the casing and into the hot pan. Break it up with the back of the fork and let it brown. When the sausage is almost completely cooked, add the sliced shallots. Once the shallots are soft and starting to brown, add the winter greens. (You may need to add the greens by large handfuls, letting each handful wilt before you add another.)
Once the greens are fully cooked, stir in the cooked penne, the parmesan cheese, the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Fold in the reserved mushrooms and serve immediately.
I love having a quick and healthy go-to dish for busy nights and this one hits the spot! A big thanks to Sarah for joining us in the kitchen today and for officially joining the MC blog roster. Watch for another one of Sarah's delicious family-focused recipes, coming this fall.
Follow along with Sarah online at Kiwi & Bean, and on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest!