Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Portobello Penne Pasta Casserole

Alright, back to cooking!! Yesterday I just felt blah and tired and pregnant and lazy, so we had brinner (breakfast for dinner). Pancakes, scrambled eggs, and sausage. I heart brinner. I had a whole list of chores I wanted to do, and all I accomplished was planning dinners for the week and making up my grocery list. The husband wants to get back to more vegetarian dinners, so I looked at the recipes I'd saved on allrecipes.com and found this one. I thought, "Portobello mushrooms haven't been on sale in FOREVER!" Then I looked at the grocery ad, and lo and behold...portobellos were on sale!! I was tempted to eat them all week because we haven't had them in so long, but I settled on one dinner. I kind of wanted to make Portobello Parmesan because we haven't had it in forever, but this got good reviews.

By the way, it's much easier to prepare dinner if your husband is home to entertain your 2.5 year old that's been a total terror all day instead of trying to make dinner and deal with the boy at the same time. Kudos to single parents who have to do this all the time!! The husband had a meeting that ran late tonight, normally he's home to deal with the boy. Of course the boy wanted to sit on the potty while I was trying to get everything together. I hate to deny him potty time because I'd REALLY like him out of diapers, but what can you do. At least he went potty while he was sitting there. Small blessings I guess.

Portobello Penne Pasta Casserole
1 (8 ounce) package uncooked penne pasta
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 pound portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 cup margarine
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1/4 cup soy sauce

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Place pasta in the pot, cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente, and drain.
3. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the mushrooms, cook 1 minute, and set aside. Melt margarine in the saucepan. Mix in flour, garlic, and basil. Gradually mix in milk until thickened. Stir in 1 cup cheese until melted. Remove saucepan from heat, and mix in cooked pasta, mushrooms, spinach, and soy sauce. Transfer to the prepared baking dish, and top with remaining cheese.
4. Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until bubbly and lightly brown.


When I first read the recipe I went, "A quarter cup soy sauce?!" but several of the reviews said they thought the same thing but it turned out fine. We'll see. It seemed like there were a lot of calories that could be cut, so I used cooking spray instead of oil to saute the mushrooms, 1.5 cups skim milk and 0.5 cups 2% milk. Oh, and even though it didn't say to do so, I drained the spinach.

And can I just say I hate cooking with margarine? I've become a butter girl through and through I guess. Normally I have some in the freezer, but I used the last of it in my cake over the weekend (which I just remembered is out in our garage fridge...it's probably lonely, I should make sure I have some tonight), so all I had was reduced fat tub margarine. Ugh. It's so oily and there's so much water in it, which means it splatters everywhere when you're heating it up. I hate cooking with it, but I had no choice.

Dinner's in the oven as I type this, we'll see how it turns out! I can't decide if I have high hopes for it or low expectations. Generally I'm a low expectations kind of girl because if you don't expect much, you won't wind up disappointed. Trust me...I've been lectured on this philosophy MANY TIMES in my life.


The results? Yummy. You couldn't really taste the soy sauce like reviewers had said on the website, but I think next time I might scale it back a little anyway. The husband and I both liked it and agreed it's one to keep. The boy didn't really eat it, but he hasn't been eating much lately anyway. I think next time I might add some parmesan in as well to give it a little extra flavor. Definitely one I'll add to my portobello recipe repertoire (sp?)!

No comments: