Friday, January 21, 2011
Garden Pasta with Green Olive Pesto and Mushrooms in Chardonnay
I knew I wanted to fuel up for tomorrow's long run with a pasta dish and was inspired by this recipe for pasta tossed in a green olive pesto. It calls for basil, which I wasn't able to find at three different supermarkets, but I did find some Italian parsley and figured I could slightly alter the pesto recipe. Then I got to thinking that it might also be neat to transform the Barcelona Chicken I made back in June into a pasta dish with green olives (in the pesto), mushrooms and very dry white wine. So, I made the pesto as described in the above link, but with about a cup and a half of chopped parsley and without the lemon juice - just because I forgot to add it amid all the stress of learning to work the new Cuisinart food processor. Then I heated a couple of tablespoons of Smart Balance in a frying pan, added about 12 ounces of sliced baby bellas, salt and pepper and let them cook on medium heat until they started browning. At that point, I added about half a cup of Turning Leaf Chardonnay, which Steve cheerfully surrendered for this purpose after discovering what a nasty wine it is to drink.
It was much better in the mushrooms! After tossing the pasta (we had garden pasta on hand, hence the title of this post) with the pesto, I plated it up, spooned the mushrooms on top of that and added the garnish. Before I made this, I was afraid the pesto would be too strong. Turns out that if you use enough greenery, the olives don't really register. If I make this again, I might change the ratio of olives to parsley, or basil, or whatever. But it was still good this way, and the mild flavor of the pesto really set off the delicious mushrooms, which had time to start caramelizing after the wine had reduced down and been absorbed by the mushrooms.
Turning Leaf Chardonnay - nasty to drink, good for cooking mushrooms!