Mushroom Port Pasta

IMG_0231I was visiting my mom when she brought home several pounds of mushrooms.  She stumbled upon a sale.  No further explanation necessary.  I volunteered to experiment and went off to find two recipes.  I’m pretty sure I botched the first recipe by using home-made broth that needed a bit more love.  The second, though, was glorious; thank you Smitten Kitchen.  It was her Mushroom Marsala Pasta Bake.  It was so good that my mom staked her claim on the last serving to make sure she got even more deliciousness.

The changes.  Because they happen.  More mushrooms.  Maybe half a pound.  This was mostly done to use up all the mushrooms in two recipes.  Even though I doubled the recipe and you didn’t really notice there were ‘extras’.  I like mushrooms so this adaptation is sticking around.  I also switched from marsala to port because that is what was in the pantry (and Smitten Kitchen said I could!).  The port reduction was delicious…  Plus, I added about half a cup of leftover turkey.  My note on the turkey: I loved having a little extra protein.  It gives the dish a bit of extra interest texture-wise.  Poultry lets the rest of the flavors sing.  Even so, my beau is looking forward to a meatless version for hosting vegetarians.

Additional adaptations that I’m considering:

  1. More sauce.  The pasta really ate it up and I like saucy dishes.
  2. Cover the dish while it bakes so that the top doesn’t get crispy.
  3. Ignore adaptations 1 and 2 and serve straight from the pot after simmering the pasta in the sauce, no baking, then top with cheese.
  4. So that my (adult) sisters will eat it: use a blender or food processor to hide the fact that there are mushrooms and onions in the food.  They like the flavor but hate the sight of mushrooms (both) and onions (just one).

These are definitely all personal preferences – the recipe itself is a really great base.  That being said, this recipe will definitely make it into the rotation.

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