Monday, January 18, 2010

Mustard Greens Pesto and Mushroom Pasta

Yum. I've made this a bunch of times this winter and make it a bit differently each time and it just gets better with every adaptation. It's adapted from this Bon Appetit recipe. The original calls for butter (just a little olive oil will do) and smoked mozzarella. Don't get me wrong, I love smoked mozzarella - but the pasta was too rich and deep for me. I need some freshness and tang. Here goes:



1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup pecans (I've also used walnuts, almonds - all good options)

2 garlic cloves, peeled, quartered

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

3 cups (loosely packed) coarsely chopped mustard greens


2 TBSP olive oil

1 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, thinly sliced (Shiitakes are expensive! Add some button mushies or cremini in too)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

1/4 cup dry white wine

1 pound fusilli or rotini (spiral shaped)

6-8 oz goat cheese

optional - The rest of the mustard greens from the head you used for the pesto - roughly chopped



Blend nuts, mustard green, vinegar, parmesan and garlic in processor - process to blend. Add oil while processing andblend until smooth. Season pesto with salt and pepper. Transfer to small bowl. DO AHEAD Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover; chill. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before using.


Add oil to large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sage and sauté just until mushrooms wilt, about 3 minutes. Add mustard greens and wine and sauté until mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Return pasta to pot. Add pesto, mushrooms and crumble in goat cheese; toss to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer pasta to bowl and serve.

OTHER ADAPTATIONS - try this in the spring time with arugula instead of mustard greens. warm leftovers and place on a bed of watercress, arugula or spinach for lunch.

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