Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Spinach mushroom fettuccine

Although this recipe would satisfy almost any vegetarian, dedicated meat eaters will love it too. Spinach mushroom fettuccine dishes up a satisfying bit of pep. And it’s a refreshing change from a steady diet of beef and chicken.

This quick dinner pasta dish caught my attention for two reasons. First, I need to build my repertoire of vegetarian dishes for camp. By next summer, I plan to add eight to 12 new recipes to my recipe file.

On the home front, spinach mushroom fettuccine comes together quickly. It only takes 20 to 30 minutes from stove to plate.

I doubled the original recipe (page 106, Northern California edition, October 2008 Sunset) to make sure it multiplies easily for the camp kitchen. Although I haven’t tested a larger batch yet, I’m confident you can double or triple the basic recipe. Adjust the size of the skillet or saucepan accordingly.

I made two changes to the Sunset recipe. First, I felt the addition of extra garlic was needed to give the dish a flavor boost. Reduce the garlic to one or two minced cloves if it’s too much garlic.

And I changed the whole wheat pasta to fettuccine, reminiscent of fettuccine Alfredo, which is made with reduced heavy cream and melted butter. Any whole wheat or plain spaghetti or fettuccine will work for this recipe.

Clean and slice the mushrooms as the pasta water comes to a boil. Then mince the garlic and wash the fresh spinach leaves. Turn your attention to the sauce as the pasta cooks. The sauce and pasta should be ready at the same time.


Carefully stir the sauce after you combine the cream cheese and milk. It takes about 10 minutes the soften the cream cheese to the point where it blends with the milk. Stir gently to avoid breaking up the mushrooms.

Save some pasta water and use it to thin the dish as it absorbs the sauce.

1 pound fettuccine pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
4-8 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds sliced mushrooms
12 ounces cream cheese
1 cup milk
4 quarts lightly packed spinach
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh chives
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Boil 1 gallon water in a large stockpot and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and mushrooms and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add cream cheese and milk and heat until boiling, stirring often. Add spinach and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pour sauce over pasta. Sprinkle with chives and serve with Parmesan on the side. Serves 8.

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