Thursday, 7 January 2016


For me it is a time of the year when I look very closely at what I eat. New Year New Me seems to be my motto for the month of January every year and 2016 is no exception. Having eaten a vast quantity of turkey, ham, sausage rolls and pigs in blankets over the festive period I feel it is time for  a week of vegetarian dishes.
So my first one is a delicious pasta dish which takes under half an hour to cook. Ta da! This easy and simple meal requires no special skills whatsoever and is guaranteed to help you fall in love with cooking.
Those of you who know me well know that I am not a fan of pasta. I avoid eating it, especially in the evenings. (More about this is coming up in my new category KEET FIT next week). Hubby and kids love it and I cook it for them often but I tend to stay away from it. This recipe is one of my 'guilty pleasures'. There is something about the combination of mascarpone, mushrooms and pasta that I cannot resist. Because I am back in the gym (yes, I am sticking to my goal) and I needed a filling meal after another gruelling workout a little treat to myself just happened to be on the cards last night ;)
The first time I made this recipe was many years ago and it has been a favourite of my husband ever since. He is a guy who likes his meat and is not a big fan of veggie dishes but even he admits this is a MUST TRY pasta dish. The cheesy breadcrumbs give the pasta another dimension and is a great way of using up old/stale cheese you may have in your fridge following Christmas. This is a very rich and filling dish and little goes a long way.

Recipe (to feed 2)

about 150gr pasta (any shapes you like/have), I used fusilli simply because this is what I had
150gr oyster mushrooms/ you can substitute with any exotic mushrooms
1 tub (250gr) mascarpone
2 slices of bread
a handful of grated cheese
salted butter

Cook the pasta as per the pack instructions. Cut the mushrooms into chunks and fry in some of the butter on  medium heat until edges start to brown. Mine took about 7 minutes.
Whilst the mushrooms are cooking make the breadcrumbs. I used my blender for this - it only took 2 minutes! Fry the breadcrumbs in the remaining butter on medium heat stirring often to prevent burning.
When they've browned add the grated cheese. Again, stir continuously to avoid burning. (I find extra mature to work really well - as it melts it helps the breadcrumbs to clump together in small clumps. Mild cheddar will make them into bigger chunks).
Once the mushrooms are cooked, turned the heat to minimum and add the mascarpone. It is a very rich and creamy cheese and the heat helps it melt.
Keep stirring until no chunks are left and the mushrooms are well coated. If you haven't used mascarpone before you need to know that it is a very bland tasting cheese. It is perfect for deserts but it goes really well with mushrooms too as it helps bring the flavour out of the mushrooms without overpowering them.
To serve pour the sauce over the pasta
and add a good spoonful or two of the breadcrumbs.
It goes well with red wine.
The picture above is my portion, small but fabulously delicious and filling.
It was enough for me but I could've eaten more. Lucky for my KEET FIT routine hubby had already polished everything else!
What is your favourite pasta dish? Care to share?
Desi in the Kitchen 

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