Monday, March 15, 2010


Like I said, it was a plateful of healthy Spring heaven.  And really simple, too.  And the whole wheat pasta actually worked really well with the earthy mushrooms.  I'm not usually a huge fan of whole wheat pasta unless it's in the dish on purpose.  And this time it was completely on purpose.

I used whole milk here instead of heavy cream. I like leeks with creamy sauces, but I didn't want to weigh down the delicate flavors in this dish, so I decided on whole milk.  (The nice thing about having a toddler in the house is you always have whole milk on hand)  It created a very mild creaminess, just enough to compliment the leeks without the weight of the heavy cream.  But when you make it at home, if you'd rather use heavy cream, I'd recommend NOT using the whole wheat pasta.  I don't think the grittiness of the whole wheat works well with the density of the cream.  Just my opinion.

Mushroom Leek and Shallots with Whole Wheat Linguine
1 (13.25 oz) box whole wheat linguine (you can get it at Walmart for $1/box!)
3 medium leeks, dark green parts removed, cut in half lengthwise, sliced thin, and washed thoroughly
2 large shallot, sliced thin
1 lb mushrooms (I like a combination of white buttom, shiitake, and cremini)
1/4 C whole milk
olive oil
2 T butter
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 C finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese.
1/4 C finely chopped parsley
  1. Cook pasta to al dente, reserving 1/2 C pasta cooking water.  Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, melt 1 T butter, and about an equal amount of olive oil over medium-high heat.  Once the butter is melted, add 1/2 of the mushrooms, making sure not to overlap them, add salt and pepper to taste, and saute until golden brown on both sides.  Remove from pan and repeat with the remaining mushrooms.  Set aside.
  3. In the same pan, bring down the heat to medium and add another tablespoon of olive oil.  Add leeks and shallots, and season with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are very soft and there are some browned bits.  Return mushrooms to the pan and add milk.  Simmer the vegetables in the milk until slightly reduced.
  4. Add the pasta and toss until thoroughly coated.  Add the pasta cooking water to loosen the sauce as needed.  Add the cheese and parsley, and toss to coat.  Serve while hot.  Garnish with some extra parlsey and cheese.

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