Creamy Goat Cheese Portobello Pasta

Creamy Portobello and Goat Cheese Pasta

Things I fall in love with: Three-legged dogs, my husband after he cleans, and an amazing pasta dish. I wish I could say I was 3 for 3 today (if only I could find a three-legged dog). Yes, that’s right, my husband cleaning is actually more common! Hooray for that! I also managed to find a killer pasta dish from Food and Wine made with portobello mushrooms, caramelized onions and goat cheese for the creamy sauce. It is – in a word – heaven!

I started this blog to document my trials and tribulations as I set out to learn how to cook. Finding and making dishes like this one makes blogging so fun because I couldn’t wait to scream its glories from my own virtual mountaintop. How delicious? Think “pry the fork out of my hand, hide the leftovers” delicious! I’m not always a fan of goat cheese, but man, oh man, does it steal the show in this dish.

I’m also excited to share another “first” with you. This was the first time I’ve ever caramelized onions. Now you might think, “yeah… that’s cooking 101! Onions, butter, sugar… stir” But for me it was a big victory. I was afraid I would burn the onions, or they wouldn’t turn out right and it would ruin the whole dish. But after staring down the onions like a mother watching her child at the playground… perfection! And relief! That’s another culinary check mark I can add to my checklist!

This recipe calls for ziti, but so help me… I could not find it in my grocery store. So, I went with penne and it turned out just as well. I also wanted to share a picture of the goat cheese I used. If you’re not accustomed to using goat cheese, you might be a little wary, like I was, that you’re using the wrong brand. This MontChevre worked just great for me! This is definitely going to be a go-to dish for my little family. Next time, I’m considering adding chicken and asparagus into the dish… just a suggestion!

Now, I’m off in search of a three-legged dog to fall in love with!

INGREDIENTS
For 2 With Leftovers
(Adapted from Food and Wine)
2 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 pound portobello mushrooms, stems removed, caps halved and then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
3/4 pound Penne
3 ounces soft goat cheese crumbled
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

PREP
1. In a large frying pan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter with 2 tablespoons of oil over moderate heat.
2. Add onions, 1/2 teaspoon salt, the sugar and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and browned (depending on temperature, it may take 20 minutes) Remove from the pan and set aside.
3. In the same pan, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon of oil over moderate heat. Add the mushrooms and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and stir until mushrooms are tender and brown.
4. Add the reserved onions, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper and reduce heat to low (just to keep warm).
5. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the penne (or ziti) until just done.
6. Reserve 3/4 cup of the pasta water and drain. Toss the ziti and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water with the mushroom mixture, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, the goat cheese, and the Parmesan.
7. If the pasta seems dry, add more of the reserved pasta water. Serve with additional Parmesan.

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