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Monday, June 18, 2012

Creamy Mushroom Fettucine Florentine

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This is the type of meal that you serve when you invite friends over for dinner when you don't have a ton of time to prep and cook, but ordering from the local pizza joint just won't suffice. In other words, this pasta looks and tastes fancier than it actually is...always a good thing! Last time I was home, my mom and I spent most of the day prepping for my baby sister's high school graduation party. Dinner was the last thing on our minds, but we knew come seven o'clock the rest of the family would start lingering in the kitchen, questioning what was for dinner (Six years ago, this would have been me...entering the kitchen in time for eating only, no cooking!).

After tossing around a few different dinner ideas, my mom suggested pasta, which stirred up memories of this particular dish. One quick trip to the grocery store and less than an hour of prep and cook time and we had a giant bowl of this ready to feed the masses. We doubled the batch which made enough to feed most of the group for the following days lunch...ideal because we still had lots of graduation party prepping to do!
This pasta is cheesy, but there's no additional milk or cream so it lacks the heaviness you get in, say, fettucine alfredo. The mushrooms give off a certain meatiness that you won't miss an additional protein. Serve with salad and garlic bread for a simple, elegant meal!

One Year Ago: Bourbon Peach Chutney and Brie Crostini
Two Years Ago: Summery Salad with Chicken, Avocado, and Corn

Creamy Mushroom Fettucine Florentine
-1 pound fresh white mushrooms
-12 oz fettucine pasta
-2 tbsp olive oil
-1 cup chopped onion
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
-1 (9 oz) package frozen creamed spinach, thawed
-1 cup diced fresh plum tomatoes
-1 1/2 cups (8 oz) diced fontina cheese

1. Rinse mushrooms and pat dry. Trim stems and cut mushrooms into thick slices.
2. Cook pasta in lightly salted water according to package instructions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Turn pasta into a large serving bowl.
3. Heat oil in a large skillet. When hot, add mushrooms, onions, salt, and pepper. Cook over medium high heat, stirring and tossing until liquid is evaporated and mushrooms are golden, 5-7 minutes. Stir in creamed spinach and tomatoes. Continue to cook and stir until tomatoes are heated through, about 3 minutes.
4. Spoon skillet mixture over pasta. Sprinkle with cheese. Toss to coat, gradually adding enough of the reserved pasta water to achieve desired consistency. Serve immediately.