Penne with Mushrooms and Spinach

Once again the day got away from me and I found myself at 5:30pm staring into the fridge trying to figure out what to make for dinner but didn’t really feel like cooking. Sigh. But instead of turning to old standbys grilled cheese or soup and toast I managed to pull together a pretty decent pasta dish without a huge amount of effort.  Don’t get me wrong, we love grilled cheese and Pacific Natural soups are a staple in our house (Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato is awesome) but I really wanted pasta and also had this bag of mushrooms that needed to be used up.

I figured I could make a similar wine-y broth to the farfalle I made recently.

This came together in about 20 minutes thanks to bag o’ mushrooms (sliced) and bag o’ spinach. The most work was slicing the shallots. And it was really yummy, with a deep mushroom flavour.

To make it Evan-friendly, because he would balk at a bowl of pasta with all that ‘stuff’ in it,

I scooped out some penne that had been simmering in the veggies and broth and added some grated parmesan so he’d get all the flavour without the ‘bits’. I figure, it’s the same meal, just adjusted a bit, which I’m okay with. I mean, we can avoid being too accommodating but still be considerate of his finicky palate, right? Everybody wins. Then I put some of the braised veg on the side, which he didn’t try, but that’s ok.

Penne with Mushrooms and Spinach

Truth be told, I didn’t measure anything when I made this so you may want to add more or less liquid to deglaze and braise depending on the amount of mushrooms and spinach you use. The one third – two third ratio of wine to broth works well and just add more if 1 cup total volume is not broth-y enough. Remember that the mushrooms give off a lot of liquid too though.

1 8 oz bag sliced crimini mushrooms (roughly 1/2 lb sliced)
1 6 oz bag baby spinach
1 large shallot, sliced (about 3/4 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup dry white wine
2/3 cup chicken or vegetable stock
fresh parmesan cheese, finely grated
salt and pepper to taste
cream to taste (optional)
Pasta (we used Trader Joe’s whole wheat penne)

In a large skillet on med-high, saute mushrooms and shallots in a bit of butter and olive oil, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Deglaze by adding the wine and broth, then dump in the spinach, a good grind of pepper and salt (to taste), then cover and reduce heat to simmer for 7-8 minutes.

When spinach is very wilted, stir to combine and add pasta to the skillet…more or less depending on the pasta to veg ratio you like. Add a drizzle of cream if you want, and let it simmer a bit longer until some of the liquid reduces. Stir in 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan and serve immediately.

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