Each day I try to plan to pass through the produce area in one of our local markets, on my way home, to see what is fresh or on sale that I can use for the evening meal. Shopping daily also allows me to get in a little more movement each day walking to and from the parking area, around in the store, and take advantage of daily specials to save a few bucks. So, on one of my visits I found asparagus, two for one, and portabella mushrooms for a dollar off on two. No brainer! I figured to go easy on the prep that night and that a simple rustic preparation of vegetables, mushroom, and pasta with fresh herbs from the garden, would be a meal that should come together quickly with a minimum of preparation and fuss.
Throw in a tasty salad a glass of wine and….
Equipment/ utensils required:
Cast iron skillet, stock pot, Chef’s knife, cutting board, strainer or colander, mixing bowl.
4 oz. pasta noodles, spaghetti, linguine, etc.
1 cup basil, fresh, chopped
4 cloves poached garlic, chopped fine
½ cup grated parmesan or Romano cheese
2 portabella mushrooms, large, cleaned, fins removed
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 handfuls of asparagus, washed, hardened portion of stalk removed
Salt and black pepper
Using a spoon remove the “fins” from the underside of the mushroom cap. Pour one tbsp. of the oil into each upside down cap and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let marinate until all the oil is absorbed into the mushroom cap.
Toss the asparagus spears in a little oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let rest until ready to cook.
Place the mushroom, top down, onto a preheated to medium, lightly oiled cast iron skillet or sauté pan over the hot spot and add the asparagus around the sides of the skillet. Cook until moisture begins to come out of the stem of the mushroom then remove. The asparagus should take about the same length of time but take care not to overcook the asparagus to a limp soft mush.
Bring salted water to boil, add the pasta noodles and cook until al dente. Toss the noodles in a mixing bowl with the basil, garlic and a little salt and pepper and about 1 tbsp. olive oil.
Plate all and serve
Nutritional Information for a one serving:
Calories 495, Fat 29.1 gm, Cholesterol 63 mg, Sodium 476 mg, Carbohydrates 40.8 gm, Protein 19.7 gm.