Monday, September 7, 2009

Smells Like Olive Garden

A few years back, the Express Lane Meals cookbook by Rachael Ray was published. At the time, I was a total 30-Minute Meals junkie so I went right out and bought it. In the book, I found the most yummy smelling recipe ever...and it doesn't taste half bad either! The hubby loves this with some pork chops or grilled chicken. I think it was meant to be a main dish, but there is no where near enough meat in it to be a main dish in our house. makes the house smell like Olive Garden and I feel like an honest to goodness gourmet chef whenever I whip this pasta up. Give it a try someday and you'll see...

Here's the recipe, with my own modifications...for the original, check out Rachael's cookbook...

Drunken Tuscan Pasta (come on, you HAVE to try something with a title like that!)

1 bottle (or whatever you have left over) red that you like
1 pound spaghetti
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 slices bacon, chopped
3 portobello mushroom caps, thinly sliced
1 to 1 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
4 garlic cloves, minced
red pepper flakes
4-5 cups spinach (I use baby spinach to avoid chopping, I'm lazy)
black pepper
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Parm. Cheese

Pour wine into large pot, then add enough water to bring liquid up to where you normally would to cook pasta. Bring to a boil. When it boils, add salt and pasta. (FYI: You will need to ladle out a little of the cooking liquid for the sauce before draining the pasta.)

Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat, then add 2 tbsp olive oil. Add the chopped bacon and brown. Then transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Add mushroom to the skillet, season with rosemary and cook 6-8 minutes until they are deeply golden. Push mushrooms to sides of skillet and add remaining olive oil to center of skillet. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, cook for a minute or so, then toss together with mushrooms. Add spinach to pan and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. When spinach has wilted, add a couple ladles of pasta cooking liquid to the pan and cook for a minute to reduce.

Drain pasta and add to skillet. Add bacon and cheese to the pan. Toss pasta and allow to absorb the remaining liquid.


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