Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Fusilli with Mushrooms, Greens, and Sun Dried Tomatoes

Really, if you've ever eaten a meal with me, you definitely know two things: firstly, that I'm a strict vegetarian (no, I won't pick the pepperoni off pizza), and secondly, that I hate mushrooms and olives. I will pick them out of any dish because there's something about their texture that I just... I just can't.

Well, big news. Like, earth-shattering. I like mushrooms now. 

I have no idea how or why I suddenly tolerate them. Throughout my years, I tried a mushroom every few months only to realize why I hated them so much. But within the past six months, I've sort of enjoyed eating them. I even bought some when I was grocery shopping last month. I'm a whole new person. 

This new discovery led to my lunch the other day--I wanted something fast and yummy. My typical weekday meal consists of a grilled cheese and tomato soup, and I was sort of looking for something a bit more grown-up. This simple fusilli with mushrooms, greens, and sun-dried tomatoes hit the spot perfectly.

For one serving, you will need:
 -1/2 cup of fusilli
 -1/2 cup of mushrooms (precooked or fresh)
 -1/2 tsp minced garlic
 -1 tbsp chopped sun dried tomato
 -2 big handfuls of greens
 -1/2 tbsp olive oil
 -salt and pepper to taste

This is not much of a recipe, more like a combination of ingredients into one dish. Does that make any sense? But this is super customizable and you can really put whatever greens and such that you'd like in it.

Your very first step will be to boil your water and cook the pasta until al dente--start making the vegetables once you've put the fusilli in the boiling water.

Start by heating your oil over medium-high heat. Once that's all hot, add the garlic and move it around for approximately fifteen seconds. Then throw in your mushrooms, and cook until they're softened. 

Then, add your greens and sun dried tomatoes. Cook until the greens have wilted. 

Your pasta probably should be done by now. Take a half-cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta. Do not drain!

Add the drained pasta to the skillet and cook until everything is well combined. Add a bit of the pasta water if you'd like to make it a bit more moist or saucy. You could potentially add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and some cheese if you'd like, just for an extra punch of flavor.

Put it in a bowl and consume immediately! It's pretty simple, but it tastes good and hits all the major tastes. Maybe next time, I'll add some more spices besides salt and pepper. I think some red pepper flakes would add a nice little kick. Next lunch!

It took about twenty minutes from start to finish. I loved the starchiness of the pasta, the earthiness of the greens, and the complexity added by the sun dried tomatoes and the mushrooms. Now that I'm eating mushrooms, it's like there's a whole new food group to explore! 

And, yeah, mom, you're right; I suppose I eventually learned to like mushrooms. Savor the moment. I will never admit this again.

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