Cake, Batter, and Bowl

Mushroom Walnut Pesto Pasta

Main Dishes

Apolinaras went to Costco while I was on my baking adventure and brought home a fun present – a huge canister of dried gourmet mushrooms! The blend contained a mix of porcini, morels, Brazilian, Ivory portabellas, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms, and I immediately knew what I wanted to make this weekend when I saw my gift – mushroom walnut pesto!

I blended some rehydrated wild and fresh mushrooms along with toasted walnuts, parmesan cheese, onions, garlic, and a bit of lemon juice to make the pesto. I used the mushroom stock to thin it out a bit, but also added a bit of olive oil for some richness. Then I tossed the pesto with rotelle pasta, even more mushrooms, tomatoes, and spinach. It’s the perfect hardy fall dish for mushroom lovers!

Mushroom Walnut Pesto Pasta
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
3 ounces dried wild mushrooms (4 cups)
4 cups boiling water
1 pound whole wheat rotelle pasta
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
8 ounces fresh baby bella mushrooms, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup whole walnuts, toasted
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Juice of half a lemon
1 teaspoon salt
10 ounces fresh baby spinach
2 medium tomatoes, chopped

Directions:
Place dried mushrooms in a medium bowl and pour boiling water on top. Let mushrooms soak for 20 minutes or until rehydrated. Reserve 1/2 cup mushroom stock.

To prepare the pasta, cook rotelle according to package directions. Drain the pasta in a colander, return it to the pot, and keep warm.

Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat and sauté the onions, 1/2 the rehydrated wild mushrooms and all the baby bella mushrooms for 5 to 7 minutes or until softened; add garlic and sauté 1 additional minute. Place mushroom mixture in a food processor along with the toasted walnuts, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, lemon juice, reserved 1/2 cup mushroom stock, 4 tablespoons olive oil, and salt. Pulse until pesto is well mixed.

Heat remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat in a large nonstick skillet and sauté remaining 1/2 of the rehydrated wild mushrooms for 5 to 7 minutes or until mushrooms are softened; add spinach and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes or until spinach is wilted.

Stir together pasta, mushroom walnut pesto, cooked mushrooms and spinach, and tomatoes in a large bowl until well mixed. Garnish with remaining 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition: 592 calories, 22.3g fat, 15.7g fiber, 21.4g protein per serving
Cost: $2.92 per serving

Ancho Honey Chicken over Tropical Rice

My younger brother went through a phase when he was about five where he was obsessed with cantaloupe. I remember him easily downing four or five slices at a time, which I didn’t really understand since I was such a picky eater. In fact, I used to regularly make fun of...

Mushroom Walnut Pesto Pasta

Apolinaras went to Costco while I was on my baking adventure and brought home a fun present - a huge canister of dried gourmet mushrooms! The blend contained a mix of porcini, morels, Brazilian, Ivory portabellas, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms, and I immediately knew...

Southwestern Pepper Jack Mac & Cheese

Can you believe I never had mac & cheese growing up? I was actually first introduced to the blue box in college by my good friend Susie. We lived together the summer in between our sophomore and junior years and used to come home from our respective labs during...

Quinoa with Chickpeas, Asparagus, and Lemon Goat Cheese Dressing

I actually jogged outside today with shorts and a tank top on – yay for nicer weather! Spring is almost here and I’m so ready for this season’s fresh produce. I actually couldn’t wait any longer and spontaneously grabbed a huge bunch of asparagus the other weekend. It...

Sesame Chicken with Soba Noodles

I spent the last week at a science conference in Colorado – check out the gorgeous views! While most people ski during the afternoon breaks at Keystone meetings, I decided against pushing my luck with my poor knee that has been acting up again when I jog. I did get to...

Bacon and Mushroom Stuffed Chicken Breasts over Sweet Potato Hash

I’m always on the hunt for new chicken recipes and often times will just write “chicken” on my blog recipe idea list as motivation to dream up something new! Stuffed chicken is one of our favorites, and I especially love using a little mascarpone cheese in the filling...

Gruyere Risotto with Asparagus and Mushrooms

I apologize if you had trouble with my blog earlier this week. I tried to upgrade my WordPress account and the theme completely crashed – ugh. Luckily, my better half is a computer whiz and very supportive of my blogging. He stayed up until 5am – yes, 5am – to fix it...

Summer Veggie and Chicken Lasagna with Goat Cheese Sauce

I think I’ve mentioned before that I often devour leftovers for dinner because I tend to get home pretty late and I'm always starving when  I walk in the door. So, when I do manage to find time to cook during the week, I’m usually whipping up a meal to enjoy the...