Penne with Fresh Herbs & Mushrooms

penne mushroom

This savoury pasta recipe is simple to make and extremely rich. I enjoy shopping for mushrooms at my local farmers’ market. Using an assortment of mushrooms (white, chanterelle, oyster, shiitake, brown) adds texture and flavour. Edible fungus is loaded with Vitamin D. “Eat both sides and you’ll grow.”

Penne with Fresh Herbs & Mushrooms
Serves: 6
  • 1½ cups beef broth
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 16 ounces assorted mushrooms, cut into large pieces
  • 4 bacon slices, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes
  • 3 tablespoons sage, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons rosemary, chopped
  • 1 pound penne
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  1. Boil broth and wine in a saucepan and cook until reduced to 1 cup, about 15 minutes.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook mushrooms for about 5 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl. Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and bacon to the same pan. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the bacon begins to brown. Add wine reduction, butter, and herbs. Simmer for about 3 minutes until the liquid thickens. Stir in mushrooms. Salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Cook pasta in a large pot, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta, reserving ½ cup pasta water.
  4. Stir pasta and ½ cup cheese into mushroom mixture. Stir over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until sauce thickens. Add water by tablespoonfuls if dry. Transfer to bowls and sprinkle parmesan on top.

Pair this pasta with a bottle of 2009 Mourvèdre from Curtis Winery in Santa Barbara, California. This grape varietal tends to produce tannic wines that can be high in alcohol. Mourvèdre wines often have wild game and earthy notes to them along with ripe fruit flavours. It can also be “farmyardy” if you drink it too young. The Curtis Mouvèdre is a good example of this varietal’s earthy character with whimsical, bright, jammy and bold flavours. The oak notes are subtle for an elegant finish.

Movie Night suggestion: Something with shrooms, you silly White Rabbit. Something with earthiness, style, and a world full of nonsense. Where “nothing would be what it is because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary-wise; what it is it wouldn’t be, and what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?” Lewis Carroll was an odd man for coming up with the Alice in Wonderland (1951) books. A well-threaded story, magical mushrooms, a talking rabbit, and a mad hatter make perfect sense in this colourful film about nonsense.

Film notes: Not commercially successful, this movie was a box office failure. It did, however become a cult film during the 60s, where it was viewed as a “head film.”

Kathryn Beaumont, who was the voice of Alice, narrates the Alice in Wonderland attraction at Disneyland.

No Disney film is complete with a hidden Mickey. In the scene where Alice grows and gets stuck in Rabbit’s house, if you look closely at the DoDo bird’s flame as he lights his pipe (what’s he smoking?) there is a Mickey flickering in it.

Every time the Rabbit’s watch is shown, it is 12:25. If this were a Tarantino, you can bet your magic mushroom, it would be 4:20.

Lastly, the Mad Hatter was drawn to look like the voice of the Mad Hatter, Ed Wynn. Nice job, Imagineers!

Now go eat your mushrooms or “off with your head!”


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