As I’ve been saying, things are busy here. But I feel so bad not cooking at least a few times a week.
I wanted a yummy pasta dish and came across a recipe online for a pasta with a creamy mushroom sauce. It was pretty much like a mac n cheese sauce except that it used asiago for the cheese instead of cheddar or something.
You know how any cheese based sauce is thickened with flour? Well I wanted to add some protein to this recipe. I contemplated adding a can of chickpeas, but then I had a grand idea: chickpea flour! I told you about this flour a while ago…it makes an amazing pancake type thing called a socca, which i still haven’t blogged about yet (I promise I will).
Anyway, I have a bag of this garbanzo bean flour in my pantry and I thought it would make a great sub for the regular flour. 1/4 cup of it has 6 grams of protein, and I ended up doubling it. I think you definitely could have added more though, since it doesn’t really act as a thickening agent. You can find it at any health food store and some supermarkets may even have it. The brand I use is Bob’s Red Mill.
I also threw in a bag of spinach since it was near death in the back of my fridge. I’m sure it was happy to get turned into something tasty instead of being laid to rest in the trash.
This dish turned out totally delicious! If you use the pasta pot to make the sauce, you only end up dirtying two pans- perfection!
Creamy Orecchiette with Mushrooms, Spinach and Crunchy Cheese Topping
Adapted from Cooking Light
Serves 8 pretty large servings
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup sliced shallots
16 ounces sliced baby portobello mushrooms
8 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoon dry sherry (or vermouth/white wine)
1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour + 2 Tbsp white flour (or 1/2 cup white flour if you don’t want to use garbanzo bean flour)
3.5 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
2 cup grated parmesan/pecorino romano
Preheat oven to 375°.
Cook pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain well. Set cooked pasta aside.
Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots; sauté 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, thyme, pepper; sauté 5-8 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Add spinach and stir til wilted.
Add sherry; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
Place flour(s) in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; gradually add milk, stirring constantly with a whisk. Bring mixture to a boil; cook 1 minute or until slightly thick, stirring constantly with a whisk.
Remove from heat; add 1.5 cup cheese, stirring until melted. Add pasta and mushroom mixture to cheese mixture, tossing well to combine.
Spoon pasta mixture into an 9×13-inch baking dish lightly coated with cooking spray; sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes and then broil for 10 minutes or until cheese on top browns.