Friday, November 18, 2011

Whole Grain Spaghetti with Brussels Sprouts and Mushrooms


This meal started out with the best of intentions. I selfishly chose it because I just wanted an excuse to eat some Brussels sprouts although I did figure that the menfolk would be happy with the pasta part. If they were actually home to eat it, that is, and that's where the story of this dinner fell apart. I began prepping it in the afternoon and even got a little mise en place going, as the photo shows, which is a total surprise since I'm usually racing against the clock, madly chopping and throwing the veggies as water boils, oil heats and something burns. But on Thursday, for once, I had a somewhat leisurely beginning to the meal that ultimately never was. I even began sauteeing up the sprouts, shrooms, garlic and onions in advance so that most of the scut work would be done early. But then, one by one, my guests began to fall. Austin headed off for a babysitting gig and informed me he'd be having dinner there. Q texted to say he was at a work gig that he'd previously informed me of (hmmm... suspended doubt and disbelief) and they'd be feeding him. And Maddie, who had 10 mins flat to eat between her evening activities, took one look at my pan of browned veggies and shook her head, "no, mama, I don't wanna eat that." And so, a bit later, I sat down alone and ate myself a little bowl of the veggies and was happy as a clam without the pasta and sauce. However, I've included the full recipe here since I have lots of leftovers and fully intend to complete what I started, maybe for a lunch for us all over the weekend. If anyone shows up, that is.

Whole Grain Spaghetti with Brussels Sprouts and Mushrooms
4 to 6 servings

1 lb whole grain or whole wheat spaghetti
1 cup grated pecorino romano
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved and thinly sliced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 lb mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup creme fraiche, at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (from 1/2 large lemon)
zest of same lemon
1/2 cup slivered almonds, optional


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and place in a large serving bowl. Toss with 1/2 cup cheese.


In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the Brussels sprouts, onions, mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the creme fraiche, vegetable broth, lemon juice and zest. Bring to a simmer and stir until the mixture forms a creamy sauce, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Pour the sauce over the pasta, add the almonds if you choose, and toss until coated. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and serve.

Rest of the week

Nov 14 Bubble chicken and tossed salad

Nov 15 Teriyaki beef stirfry

Nov 16 Spaghetti w Brussels sprouts and mushrooms

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