Pasta with Dried Mushrooms & Asparagus

Another make-it-up-on-the-spot dinner.  I have the ingredients…just can’t find a recipe that uses them all!

I have some fresh asparagus, dried mushrooms, a shallot and dried pappardelle.

I’ve made a portobello mushroom creamy pasta, so I’m using that recipe as a guide.

Soak the dried mushrooms and save that mushroom water.  Blanch the asparagus then cut stalks into smaller pieces. 

Saute the re-hydrated mushrooms in butter and oil.  After a bit, add the sliced shallot.  Saute a few more minutes and then add a cup of beef broth and the mushroom water, about a cup of that, so two cups of liquid total.  Then add a small amount of sherry, salt, pepper and thyme — building flavor.  Let this simmer for about 5 minutes.  Add the asparagus pieces and let them cook till tender — a couple of minutes more. 

I’m adding a little milk and 1/2 & 1/2 to give the sauce very little creaminess. 

Boil the pasta until it is not quite done.  Strain and add to the pan of mushroom sauce to cook it till it’s tender.

From pantry to table - just under a half an hour.  Thinking on my feet tonight!

Seconds tasted even better — the pasta absorbed more of the sauce, delicious.

Dinner: Wednesday January 11, 2012

I’m making a quick dinner tonight.  Keeping it simple and using what’s in the refrigerator.  I have two boneless pork chops, a few mushrooms, left over mashed potatoes, and an assortment of frozen veggies. 

For the pork, I’ll sauté them in the fabulous grill pan.  They might be thick enough to just brown on the stove top and then put into the oven for a few minutes to finish.  I’ll see how it goes.

For MS, I’ll bake a sweet potato for him.  But I’ve doctored the mashed potatoes with a little sour cream, put them into an individual serve baking dish and topped with some white cheddar cheese.  They will share a 400 degree oven with the sweet potato.

Frozen veggie of choice tonight will be peas. 

My plan for the mushrooms is to cook them in the pan before I sauté the chops.   After I take the chops out of the oven, I’ll make a sauce in that pan with beef broth, pan drippings, and the mushrooms.  Of course, this plan could all change.


Ready to put into the 400 degree oven for just 3-4 minutes.

Making a sauce is really a quick way to clean up the pan before you eat.  Adding the sautéed mushrooms and a bit of butter to the stock.


 The meat.

 And my potatoes.


I put some frozen Indian bread from Trader Joes in the hot oven while I finished the sauce and the peas were heating. 

 Love the grill marks on the chop!