I know– a lot of people are afraid of mustardy anything. I can understand how you might not like straight-up mustard, but once it’s whisked with white wine and boiled, it forms a nice sauce to coat the pasta and really doesn’t taste like mustard!
Before I get to the recipe though, I am happy to announce that I ran ten miles over some pretty tough hills yesterday. I was a little worried about how my knee would hold up to the test, but it seems to have passed with flying colors. I wasn’t running very hard, but I’m pretty confident now that I’ll be able to build up to twenty miles in the next six to eight weeks, before my own “Boston boot camp” begins in the heat of June.
Back to the food! This recipe is borrowed from a cookbook, but I made enough modifications of ingredients and amounts that I think I’m in the clear. It’s a nice simple dish that’s pretty quick to make. There’s not a whole lot of protein in this one, so if you’re concerned about that, use Barilla Plus pasta. You could also add tofu, tempeh, or even chickpeas to it if you were so inclined. But I figure that as long as most of my meals contain a decent amount of protein, then it’s ok if every now and then a few don’t. I’d be much more concerned about missing out on complex carbohydrates, now that my running mileage is starting to increase.
Portobellos do a great job of replacing meat, as far as flavor goes. They have a beefy taste of their own and tend to absorb other flavors well. And the onions, garlic, and vegetable stock form a nice base of flavor that you can’t see in the pictures. Lots of hidden veggies in this meal!
I am going to give this meal 3 cows out of 5 because it’s a little boring, but that’s not such a bad score when you have to follow 5-cow buffalo tempeh wraps. My taste buds have been stretched and might never return to their original dimensions. Maybe every meal will be a cow or two lower than it would previously have been…
Don’t let the “3” stop you from making this one. I found myself really looking forward to the leftovers, and they didn’t disappoint. It’s just that kind of meal I guess. Nothing showy in the kitchen or as the star on the dinner table, but wonderful as leftovers. And I think that’s how a lot of simple, real food is. And speaking of real, simple food, it’s Italian week in the NMA household! We have three vegetarian Italian meals lined up for the rest of the week, and I’m excited about all of them. The first is on the docket for tonight, so check back tomorrow for the post. Much more provacative, in my eyes, than this old mustardy mushroom thing!
Portobello Mushroom Pasta With Mustard Sauce Recipe
Ingredients (for 4 servings):
- 12 ounces dried whole wheat rotini
- 3 Tbsp canola oil
- 6 to 8 oz portobello mushroom caps, sliced about 1/4-1/2 inch thick
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 and 1/2 Tbsp minced fresh rosemary
- crushed red pepper
- 1/2 cup vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup pepitas or pine nuts, toasted
Cook pasta according to package directions (don’t forget to salt the water until it tastes like the sea). Transfer the pasta to another bowl or strainer and set aside. Dry the pasta pot.
In the pasta pot, heat half the oil over high heat. Add the mushrooms with 1 tsp salt (eyeball it) and cook until tender, should take 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
Add the rest of the oil to the pot, again over high heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook for a minute or two until it starts to soften. Add 1/2 tsp of salt (eyeball it again), the rosemary, and the amount of crushed red pepper that you like. Add the stock, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low for 2 minutes. Transfer to the mushroom bowl.
Put the pot back on high heat once again, add the white wine and mustard, and whisk together. Once it’s boiling, add the cooked pasta and mushroom mixture and cook for 2 minutes while stirring. Top with pepitas or pine nuts.