Tag Archive for 'portobello mushrooms'

Summer Pesto Pasta Salad

pesto pasta salad.jpg

Eight weeks ago I had my first hand surgery and six weeks post surgery I practically made this pesto pasta salad myself. It was a simple and yet significant task, as it was like getting back up on the horse that threw me. I’ve often times told family and friends over the past few weeks that while I know I was lucky not to have injured my dominant hand (AKA my right hand), I am in no way a one-handed individual. I have learned to adapt to my situation at an exhausting pace – and my milestones have included saying things like, “I can put my hair in a pony tail!”

No gift of accomplishment goes unnoticed. Continue reading ‘Summer Pesto Pasta Salad’

Broken Lasagna with Portobello Mushrooms and Chèvre Creamed Baby Spinach


If I was in the Star Wars movies I could imagine Daddy Darth Vader saying – The pasta is strong with this one – no surprises here. I love my pasta. Sadly my frame size does not support my habit. Too much pasta = a chubbier version of me. Continue reading ‘Broken Lasagna with Portobello Mushrooms and Chèvre Creamed Baby Spinach’

Take-In Italian (flavor benefits with out the fuss)

This past week I reconnected with my Bertolli friends that I met at BlogHer Food. The end result was a fun meal prepared for my foodie family that got rave reviews and triple servings. An hour before I wanted to serve dinner I hit the kitchen grabbed a few bags of Bertolli’s Italian Sausage Stuffed Shells out of the freezer and quickly read the directions on the bag.

It was as simple as 1-2-3. Once the pasta was in the oven baking, I shifted my attention to an asparagus and mushroom recipe adapted from Chef Rocco DiSpirito – Asparagus with Mixed Mushrooms and Fresh Parmesan Cheese. As you can see from the photos, it all looked great and the tastes were on par with the looks of the dish. The nice thing about this veggie dish is that it can be done ahead of time- I did make the mushroom marinade earlier in the day to give the flavors the maxim chance to set-up. The verdict– five empty plates and lots of smiles.

While the pasta cooked for an hour, it took but five minutes to assemble at the start and then five minutes at the end to top with cheese that needed to melt. It was like a night off without the hassle of cooking a rich dish with all of the flavor benefits.

While I really enjoyed Rocco’s vegetable accompaniment, I’ve changed it up a bit while keeping some of the core elements — asparagus and mushrooms! That said, if you wanted to keep it super simple you could pair the Bertolli pasta with a salad and call it done!

Asparagus with Mixed Mushrooms and Fresh Parmesan Cheese

1/2 cup olive oil
2 TBS garlic, finely chopped
1 TBS chives
1 TBS Italian parsley
zest of 1 Meyer lemon
1/4 lb mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and sliced
1/4 lb oyster mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and sliced
1/2 lb baby portobello mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and sliced
16 spears asparagus (1 bunch) or 28 medium spears
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
4 oz Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

In a medium-size bowl, whisk together oil, shallots, herbs and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper. Add mushrooms and thyme sprigs and mix well. Let the mushrooms marinate at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.

Bring soup pot filled with water to a boil and add 2 TBS salt. While water comes to a boil, prepare the asparagus. Trim them by gently breaking the stalks where they naturally snap a few inches from the base. (If using jumbo asparagus, peel them to about 1/2 inch below the tip.) Bundle spears with kitchen twine and cook in the boiling water until they are tender when piecred with a knife, approximately 6 minutes. Discard twine once asparagus has been removed from water.

Heat a large skillet over high heat. Take the mushrooms out of the marinade and place them in the pan, forming a single layer of mushrooms. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan — as Julia Child would tell you, if you do they will not cook properly. Season with salt and pepper and cook until browned and tender. Transfer the mushrooms to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

When all of the mushrooms have been removed from the pan, add 2 TBS vinegar. Scrape and dissolve any browned bits from the bottom of the pan to make a sauce; pour the sauce over the mushrooms.

Arrange on a serving platter. Top with the mushrooms, juices and shaved Parmesan. (To nicely shave the cheese use a vegetable peeler). Drizzle with a dash of additional olive oil and ground pepper.

E buon appetito!

If you think you would be inspired to learn more about Bertolli you can follow them on Twitter @Bertolli or learn more about Into the Heart of Italy (www.IntoTheHeartOfItaly.com). There was an article that really appealed to my tech-side that hit this week in the New York Times, which referenced this Bertolli/Unilever promotion in regards to how old and new media can work together — if you’ve got a few minutes it is a good read.

For those Twitter-a-holics who just can’t get enough, you can also follow Chef Rocco DiSpirito at @roccodiSpirito.

Mille Grazie a Bertolli for their wine aerator and gift card to purchase a Bertolli Frozen Meal!

How To Make Valentine’s Day Last A Little Longer

My Valentine’s Day gift to you- an impressive and simple meal to show the one(s) you love that Valentine’s Day is not just a night out at some cozy restaurant where you snagged a reservation, or some over-priced flowers, it is more than just ONE day a year and goes well beyond the Hallmark card or cute text you sent. Serve this dish with some nice crusty bread and pass it off to your special guests as if you have worked in the kitchen like a true Olympian. If you are out to impress, hit the print button and take this list to the Super Marche (as they say in France).

Hearty Steak & Portobello Mushroom Stew


1 pound sirloin steak, fat trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1/3 cup flour
2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil (using one 1 TBS at a time)
1 medium-size Yukon Gold potato, skin removed and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
6 cups portobello mushroom caps, (approx 6 medium), gills removed (optional)
2 cups frozen pearl onions, thawed
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 cups frozen cut green beans, thawed
2 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
1/2 cup red wine
2 tsps chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper


Place steak in a medium bowl mix with flour stir to coat. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the steak (reserving excess flour) and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned on the outside but slightly pink on the inside (approximately 3 minutes). Transfer to a plate and and cover with foil to keep warm.

Add the potato and cook until lightly browned. Then add mushrooms, onions and tomatoes to the same pot and cook, until the vegetables have released their juices, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Sprinkle the reserved flour over the green beans; stir to coat. Add green beans and stir. Then add broth, wine, thyme, salt and pepper; increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, stirring often.

Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until the broth has thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the steak and any accumulated juices and cook, stirring often, until heated through, about 2 minutes.