Tag Archives: pasta

Hey! We’re Back with Braised Mushroom Pasta

10 Nov

by Green Gourmet L

Welcome back all you Green Gourmets! Green Gourmet K and I would like to tell you that we enjoyed our hiatus, but we missed blogging so much that we had to get back to it! A lot has happened during our time away. Green Gourmet K got pregnant! And Green Gourmet L moved to Texas and then got pregnant! Even though each of us is now eating for two, that doesn’t stop us from cooking green (local, organic, and budget friendly) now more than ever. And we would love to share our journey with you. So stay tuned for our usual awesome recipes, tips and tricks about being green, and new anecdotes about what happens when you get knocked up.

Alright, onto the food! When the weather in TX starts to cool down (from like 90s to 70s), I get excited that I can use my oven again. My absolute favorite way to cook anything when the weather gets a little chilly is a low and slow braise. Braising is just a form of slow cooking, usually some kind of meat in liquid, until it is very tender and the liquid has turned into a luscious sauce.

There are a couple rules to braising:

  1. Lower temperatures for a longer time are best
  2. Start with a good base- aromatic veggies like onions, carrots, celery give great flavor during a long cooking marathon
  3. Begin cooking on the stove first. Brown your meat, soften your veggies, simmer your liquid. It will make the actual braising process go by much faster
  4. Check your dish occasionally. You may need to add more liquid, stir or turn your meat, and you don’t want to find out after it’s too late
  5. Your dish might be better the next day. Once the flavors have had a chance to meld together in the fridge, you can enjoy your leftovers even more than the original meal!

I love to eat red meat but I am also sensitive to the fact that this is not a part of everyone’s diet. I mean, we are in TX now, but I am a Green Gourmet so I can adapt. I found a wonderful braised mushroom dish and decided to adapt it to fit my dinner last night. Hope you like it!

Braised Mushroom Pasta
Serves 8

  • 3oz prosciutto (or bacon), diced (if vegetarian, use smoked tofu)
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 2 ribs celery, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 3lbs mixed mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small bunch thyme (leave on the stems)
  • 1 14oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 TB butter (if vegan, use olive oil)
  • 3 cups chicken stock (or veggie stock)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350F.

Heat an ovenproof casserole dish or a frying pan over a medium heat. Add a few tablespoons olive oil and cook prosciutto until golden brown and crispy (about 5 minutes).

Remove and allow to drain on a paper towel.

Add a little more oil to the pan and add onion. Cover and cook stirring occasionally until the onion is soft and slightly golden (8-10 minutes).

Add carrots, celery, garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add half of the mushrooms, stir and cover for 5 minutes until the mushrooms begin to release moisture and cook down.

” 

Add the other half, stir and cover for an additional 5 minutes.

When the mushrooms have browned, add the crispy prosciutto, thyme, tomatoes, butter and salt/pepper.

Top with 3 cups chicken stock. Bring to a simmer on the stove then put in the oven.

Cook, uncovered for 2 1/2 hours, stirring every half an hour or so. It’s ready when the mushrooms are tender and the liquid has reduced to a delicious sauce. Adjust seasonings and remove thyme stems.

Serve braised mushrooms over your favorite pasta (penne!) or over mashed potatoes, polenta, quinoa, or whatever your heart desires. This also makes a fabulous breakfast served as a bed for a poached egg, folded into an omelet, or as scrambled eggs with goat cheese.

Enjoy your new found mushroom braising addiction and don’t forget you read about it on Green Gourmets!

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Weeknight Staple: Basic Marinara

30 Mar

by Non-Gourmet J

I tend to get really busy during the week and don’t always feel up to making involved dinners. One tactic I use to combat eating out regularly or relying on pre-prepared, processed food, is to make things on Sunday that I can use throughout the week. My go-to for this is marinara. I like to make huge batches of this and use it as a spaghetti sauce, a filling for calzones, a dip for Stromboli, or a base for a homemade pizza.  When I really need some comfort food, I’ll add cream and vodka to it for a fancy-feeling mid-week pasta. In the summer, I roast my own tomatoes instead of using cans.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp. anchovy paste (optional, but be daring and try it – it doesn’t taste fishy at all and really adds depth to this sauce)
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 3-4 tbsp. Italian seasoning (or basil, oregano, thyme, whatever combination Italian seasonings you prefer)
  • 1-2 tbsp. fennel (I prefer to buy whole fennel seeds and crush them using a mortar & pestle)

  • 1 tbsp. crushed red pepper (more or less depending on your heat tolerance)
  • 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • Few glugs of good red wine (Optional, but I really like the flavor it adds. Important – The flavor will intensify when you cook, so always cook with a wine you like enough to drink!)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 

Directions

Sauté onions in olive oil until translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Stir in anchovy paste (if using).

Add remainder of ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.

 Taste halfway through cooking and adjust seasonings as necessary. If you don’t like a chunky sauce, or will be using this as a dipping sauce or base for a pizza, use an immersion blender at the very end. You can also transfer to a blender if you do not have an immersion blender. This recipe will last all week in the fridge, but can be kept frozen for several months.

Thanks for teaching us the basics J and don’t forget you read about it on Green Gourmets!

6:30 Empty Fridge Challenge

17 Feb

by Green Gourmet L

I’m sure everyone has had a night similar to this. It’s 6:30, you have next to nothing in the fridge, and you are too lazy (or had too much wine!) to go to the store.  Mr. Green Gourmet and I call this is a ‘true chef challenge’, because restaurant chefs can always make something out of nothing.

So here were the suspects:

Fridge: ½ red pepper, ½ tomato, last bits of a goat cheese log, ½ lemon, few sprigs of flat leaf parsley

Pantry: garlic, pasta, sweet potato

So here’s what happened:

Sweet Potato Red Pepper Pasta


  • 1 sweet potato, grated
  • 1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • Pasta (linguini, angel hair, or spaghetti)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ lemon
  • ¼ cup goat cheese (or more to taste)
  • any herbs that you might have (basil, parsley, etc.)
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)

Boil water for the pasta and cook according to directions. Reserve at least ½ cup of pasta water.

Heat one TB of olive oil over medium high heat and add garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add sweet potato, red pepper, tomato and ½ cup of water, cook for 8 minutes until the vegetables become soft. Season with salt and pepper. At this point you can also add red pepper flakes if you like a little heat.

Drain pasta and add to the vegetable mixture. Add lemon juice, goat cheese, and herbs and toss. If the pasta looks too dry, add reserved pasta water about 2 TB at a time. Serve with parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil. Not every meal has to be complicated to taste great. Enjoy and don’t forget to tell them you read it on Green Gourmets!

Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese

8 Dec

by Green Gourmet K

 

Yes, that’s right – L and I have back-to-back dueling Mac and Cheese recipes this week.  I initially started making a lightened-up Mac and Cheese recipe, which substitutes cottage cheese for some of the egg and cheese that one would ordinarily use.  But because I have gone a little crazy with the canned pumpkin lately I surreptitiously stirred in some pumpkin when the Husband was not looking, and made a few other tweaks.  The Husband really liked this version of Mac and Cheese, and I did too, but things went south when I told him it had pumpkin in it.  He’s a bit of a Mac and Cheese purist.  I, on the other hand, like to sneak vegetables into things.  Lesson learned – next time I will not tell him.

The pumpkin gives this dish a wonderful golden hue and lends a creaminess that would otherwise be missing in a “lightened up” Mac and Cheese.  The pumpkin flavor is not overwhelming at all, it just adds a little extra something.  Canned pumpkin is a great ingredient in so many dishes and it’s readily available this time of year.  L and I will do a post later in the week on the benefits of eating pumpkin.

The secret ingredient.

Enjoy this Mac and Cheese without (as much) guilt!

This recipe also freezes well.

Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients

1 box of macaroni
2 eggs
1/2 cup 1% milk
1 16 oz container of lowfat cottage cheese
1 package of shredded cheddar – or approximately 1.5 cups of cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp white ground pepper or whatever pepper you have
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup pumpkin

While cooking your noodles, mix all the other ingredients in a large bowl, reserving 1/2 cup of cheddar for the top. Add the cooked noodles, mix thoroughly. Butter your pan, put the noodle mixture in the pan, top with remainder of the shredded cheese. Bake for about 30-45 minutes at 350. Start off with aluminum foil on top, take it off half way through so the cheese gets nice and toasty.

To print this recipe, visit: https://sites.google.com/site/greengourmetsprintablerecipes/green-gourmets-pumpkin-mac-and-cheese