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Weekday dinner inspiration: Pasta With Mixed Mushrooms and Thyme, and more

Mon | Shopping energy

Thanksgiving behind, full-speed holiday shopping and baking ahead. How about Ham & Cheese Wafflewiches tonight to get you out of the house fast? Using frozen waffles as the bread, make grilled ham and cheese (I like tavern ham and Havarti) with honey mustard on the inside and a slather of butter outside. Fresh fruit salad on the side.

Tues | Fungus among us

Earthy Pasta With Mixed Mushrooms and Thyme (recipe below) is a fast, meatless dinner plenty hearty for a preshopping excursion. You can use any combination of mushrooms as long as you include dried porcinis. The soaking liquid from rehydration adds much flavor to the dish.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Shred the meat for Tortilla Chicken Soup and set aside. Heat 1 quart of chicken broth and add 2 chicken bouillon cubes, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 can diced tomatoes with garlic and a diced jalapeno pepper for heat. Add the chicken. Garnish with slices of avocado and crushed tortilla chips or strips. Serve with warm corn bread.

Thurs | Cookie baking

Turn to Page 6 and pick some recipes from our annual Christmas cookie issue for a baking party. Me? I'd start with the Licorice Snaps and Mexican Hot-Chocolate Balls. Yes, I know that's not dinner. Prebaking, set out an Antipasti Platter with rolls of roast beef and turkey, slices of cheddar and Swiss, marinated vegetables and olives. Serve with crusty bread. Nibble while you mix that cookie dough!

Fri | Shellfish fast

Pesto Shrimp Skewers can be made on the outside grill or an inside grill pan. Skewer peeled shrimp and brush with pesto sauce. Grill a few minutes on each side until shrimp is pink. Before you start the shrimp, get a pot of rice going. While rice is cooking, saute sliced summer squash in olive oil. Garnish rice with sliced scallions. Dinner is done in less than 30 minutes.

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Pasta With Mixed Mushrooms and Thyme

12 ounces gemelli or other short twisted pasta

1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms (about 1 cup), rinsed in cold water

4 tablespoons butter, divided use

1 shallot, minced

Coarse salt and ground pepper

1/2 cup dry white wine, such as sauvignon blanc

10 ounces button mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced

8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped

1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente; drain, and return to pot. Set aside. While pasta is cooking, in a small bowl, soak porcini in 1 1/2 cups hot water until tender, at least 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallot; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallot begins to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add wine; cook until almost evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add button and shiitake mushrooms. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender and begin to brown, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add porcini and their soaking liquid (leaving any grit at the bottom of the bowl) and thyme to skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid reduces by half, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer porcini mixture to pot with pasta. Add Parmesan and remaining butter, and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper, and serve with more Parmesan.

Serves 4.

Source: Everyday Food

Weekday dinner inspiration: Pasta With Mixed Mushrooms and Thyme, and more 12/01/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 1, 2009 3:30am]
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