Whole-wheat pasta with mushrooms, walnuts, goat cheese and arugula

 

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I love having all kinds of mushrooms at home. They are easy, quick and delicious as the main ingredient in soups, dips or salads. But they are out of this world amazing with whole-wheat pasta. It’s probably their earthy flavor that works so well with these absolutely delicious “Mitsides” fusilli. The walnuts add an extra crunch and extraordinary taste so don’t even think of leaving them out. Finish this dish with creamy goat cheese and fresh rocket leaves. A sprinkling of lemon zest is all you need together with a big bowl and a spoon.

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Ingredients

  • 2 Tbs dried porcini mushrooms
  • 60 grams unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • ¾ cup walnut halves
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thinly
  • 600 grams Portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  • ½ cup good brandy
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 500 grams pack “Mitsides” whole-wheat fusilli
  • ½ cup Parmesan, grated
  • 100 gr goat cheese, crumbled
  • 3 cups loosely packed rocket leaves
  • Zest of one lemon

Method

Soak dried mushrooms in about ¼ cup boiling water until soft. Drain (keep their water) and roughly chop.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta for 9 minutes. Keep about 2 cups of their cooking water. Drain and set aside until needed.

In a large skillet melt the butter and olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the walnuts and cook about 3-4 minutes, stirring often until fragrant and golden. Remove with a slotted spoon into a bowl.

In the same skillet add the onions and cook stirring often until soft and beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Increase the heat to high and add the mushrooms, garlic and thyme. Cook for about 3 minutes until mushrooms are cooked and begin to colour in places. Add the chopped dried mushrooms and their soaking liquid together with the parsley leaves and brandy. Leave the mixture to cook for about 4 minutes until the juices have reduced a bit. Mushrooms should not be dry. Season with salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.

Lower the heat to low and add pasta to the skillet. Stir through the Parmesan, together with about ½ cup of the reserved pasta cooking water. Keep adding more water if pasta seems dry. Add the rocket leaves and mix well until leaves begin to wilt. Add the walnuts, the goat cheese and the lemon zest, reserving some for garnish. Mix well.

Garnish with walnuts, goat cheese and lemon zest. Serve at once.

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