Anyone else feeling a bit weary with this pandemic cooking? Don’t get me wrong – I *adore* cooking and my kitchen is truly my refuge but good gravy, night after night, meal after meal, my creativity has been – let’s say – less than creative lately. I usually dread the end of summer but I have to say that in this s&$show of a year, the fade to fall has been a welcome diversion from my summer repertoire of recipes. So when I stopped at the market this week, the mushrooms and kale were calling to me loudly from their shelves. I suddenly had visions of a comforting bowl of deeply flavored roasted mushrooms and kale mingled with the bite of a hearty rigatoni under a huge shower of Parmigiano – and of eating it in my fluffiest PJs wrapped in a blanket watching episodes of the Great British Bake off.
Mission accomplished. 🙂
This meal comes together pretty easily. Simply roast the mushrooms, boil the pasta while those beauties are in the oven and then mix it all together in the same pot in which you made the pasta. Everything mingles together in a tasty buttery parmesan-y sauce. And if you don’t like kale (I see a few of you making those faces), sub in spinach or simply omit. Easy. Don’t care for rigatoni? Any shape pasta will work even long cut shapes such as linguini. Whatever makes your heart happy.
Hope everyone is hanging in there! Please be well and let me know what you are cooking…might be some good inspiration for us all!
A warm, comforting bowl of fall flavors to hug your soul.
For the mushrooms:
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 pounds mixed mushrooms, such as cremini, portobello, shitake, wild
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled, lightly smashed
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
- ½ tablespoon kosher salt, divided
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the pasta:
- 1 pound pasta (I like to use a short shape such as rigatoni but a long pasta such as linguine will work just as well)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small bunch Tuscan kale
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Roast the mushrooms:
Wipe clean and remove the stems from the mushrooms Cut the mushrooms in half. (Cook’s note: You can also just tear the mushrooms roughly in half – it is kind of fun to see what shapes you get when you tear them.) Divide them amongst two rimmed baking sheets in order to hold the mushrooms in a single layer. Divide the cloves of garlic, lemon zest, and rosemary sprigs amongst the two sheets (1/2 on each sheet). Sprinkle each sheet with ¼ teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Toss the mushrooms on each sheet with 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil.
Transfer to the oven and roast for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Halfway through cooking, move the upper baking sheet to the bottom and vice versa. Roast until browned. Watch closely.
Prepare the pasta:
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Clean the kale by stripping the leaves from the stems. Pile the kale leaves on top of each other and slice very thinly crosswise.
Once the pasta water boils, toss in the pasta and cook according to the package directions until almost al dente (stopping about 1-2 mins of recommend time will allow the pasta to meld with the mushrooms without being overcooked). Reserve a few cups of the pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta.
In the same pot in which the pasta was cooked, melt the butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Toss in the kale and cook until wilted. Add in the roasted mushrooms and stir until incorporated. Toss in the drained pasta. Add in 1 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water. Stir and allow everything to simmer together for a few minutes. If too dry, add in more of the reserved cooking water.
Remove from the heat. Stir in the parmesan and parsley. Serve sprinkling with additional parmesan and parsley. Enjoy!