Monday, July 13, 2009

Pasta with Goat Cheese and Mixed Mushrooms

Here is another wonderful dish from the blog: Lisa's Kitchen. She adapted it from a book called Lucy's Kitchen (link below). I've cut and pasted her post on my page, as I followed the recipe exactly and figured it would be just as easy to do it this way. After all, why mess with perfection :D .....OK - ok, and my camera's battery totally died on me so I couldn't get any Pict's.
I will tell you that has a wonderful flavor. Its very rich, creamy and hearty - much like the dishes we ate when in Italy. I served ours with a nice chewy piece of Italian bread and a salad of mixed deep greens w/ a light oil and wine vinegar dressing. ENJOY!

1 ounce (30 grams) of dried porcini mushrooms (or a mixture of shiitake, portabello, porcini and oyster)
1 pound (500 grams) of tube shaped pasta (I used rigatoni)

1/4 cup of butter
1/4 cup of unbleached white flour
2 cups of milk
2 cups of soft goat cheese
salt and freshly cracked black pepper

3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 cup of chopped onion
1 pound 9500 grams) of fresh mixed mushrooms, sliced
2 - 3 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of finely chopped fresh thyme (or a pinch of dried)
1 tablespoon of finely minced garlic
1/4 - 1/2 cup of olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup of finely chopped parsley
juice from one lemon
1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese

Soak the dried mushrooms in 1 cup of hot water for 20 minutes. Strain, reserving the soaking liquid. Squeeze excess liquid from soaked mushrooms and roughly chop.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water for 10 minutes, or until the pasta is
al dente. Drain well and return to the pot.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium-heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about a minute. Pour in the milk and bring to a boil, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for to thicken - approximately 5 minutes. Stir in the goat cheese and season with salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil in a heavy frying pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the onions to the pan and stir and fry for 3 - 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the fresh mushrooms, jalapeno peppers and thyme and cook for another 2 minutes or until mushrooms begin to release their liquid.

Next, add the garlic, dried mushrooms and the soaking liquid used for the dried mushrooms to the wok. Bring to a boil and cook for about one minute. Stir in the olives, parsley and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Stir the cheese sauce, and mushroom mixture into the cooked noodles along with 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese. Transfer to a large oiled baking dish and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, or until heated throughout and lightly browned.

Serves 6 - 8.

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