When the weather gets cold outside I have a tendency to indulge in warm, comfort food. Soups, stews and roasts feature heavily in my menus. There are few things more comforting than sitting under a blanket with a good book, snow swirling outside the windows, and delicious smells drifting from the stove. The steam envelops the room in warmth and my belly grumbles in anticipation of things to come.
However, all my comforting meals usually have a heavy meat component. All that meaty goodness is not so great on my digestion (and my waistline!!!!). So I have decided to keep trying to add more veggie based dishes to my winter repertoire. I’ve come up with this pasta dish because the shittake mushrooms still give me the meaty texture and the cream cheese allows for the comforting creaminess without being too heavy. I hope you give this a try as well.1 garlic clove chopped 2 tbsp olive oil 3 shittake mushrooms sliced 3 sundried tomatoes sliced 1/4 cream cheese brick 2 cups pre-washed baby spinach leaves pappardelle or other ribbon pasta (cook according to package directions) 1/2 cup of pasta water reserved Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 10-15 minutes
1. Add olive oil to a saute pan and turn the heat on medium. Put the garlic and sundried tomatoes into the pan and gently fry to flavour the oil and warm the ingredients.
2. After about 2-3 add the sliced shiitake mushrooms. Keep frying them until they soften and release juices.
3. Add the cream cheese to the pan and stir to form a creamy sauce. Use the reserved pasta water to thin out if the sauce becomes to thick,
4. Place half the spinach into the pan and stir into the sauce to wilt down.
5. Add the second half of the spinach, then the cooked warm pasta and combine into the sauce.
This pasta dish tastes very luxurious because of all that creaminess and the flavours are strong and burst in your mouth. With this one, a little goes a long way…your taste buds and your waist line will thank you!