Mushroom Cambozola Pasta

You never go wrong with pasta and you never go wrong with cheese. Combining both must then be a surefire win! This recipe was created when I discovered some cheese and mushrooms in the fridge that would have gone bad in a few days so I had to use them somehow. The result was delicious and filling enough to induce a food coma. Try it for yourself and report back with your results!

This was made with mushroom ravioli, but fettuccine would also work

Ingredients: (4 servings)
1 lb. Pasta – ravioli, penne or fettuccine all work great!
1 cup Cambozola cheese (or blue cheese)
1 tbsp Gorgonzola
8 oz. Cream Cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
2 oz. Brandy
1/2 cup frozen Green Peas
1 pint Mushrooms (portobello, shitake, or chanterelle varieties work great!)
Handful of Walnuts
1 small Shallot
3 Garlic Cloves (pressed)
1/3 cup red wine
2 tbsp Butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp salt

Slice the mushrooms. Chop the shallot finely and press the garlic cloves. Add the butter and olive oil to a large skillet or saute pan. Heat it to medium-high and add the mushrooms. Stir after a few minutes and let them continue to cook. When they start to get a darker color after about 4-5 minutes, add the shallot and lower to medium heat. After another minute, add the garlic and let it cook for about a minute before adding the red wine. Let it continue cooking until most of the wine is gone. Take it off the heat and toss in the walnuts. Set aside.
Start boiling water with the salt for the pasta in a large pot. Cook the pasta according to instructions.
Mix the cheeses with brandy and cream in a saucepan. Heat while stirring until it all melts and then add the green peas. Let it simmer while stirring occasionally. Add 1/2 cup of the pasta water to the sauce and let it simmer a bit more.
Layer the sauce with the pasta on the plate and then add the mushroom-walnut mix on top before drizzling a little bit more sauce on it. Cutting some fresh parsley over it will add some color and freshness of flavor.

Meatless Fettuccine Carbonara

This is one of my favorite pasta dishes even though it’s not really low in calories. The enjoyment of eating it makes up for that, though. It’s pretty quick and easy to make and there are many ways that you can add your own spin on it. Personally, I like it with mushrooms and truffle oil, but green peas, spinach, broccoli, cilantro, parsley and many other options work well also.

This version is with peas and broccoli

(4 servings)
1 lb dry fettuccine pasta
4 egg yolks
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup grated parmesan or romano cheese (I like mixing both)
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella
1 large garlic clove (pressed)
½ cup vegetable stock or ½ bouillon cube
sea salt
black pepper
For mushrooms:
8 oz sliced mushrooms
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp olive oil
Optional additions:
Fresh cilantro leaves, Spinach leaves, Green Peas, Truffle Oil

1. Heat the oven to 350. Toss the mushrooms lightly in some olive oil and soy sauce, lay them in a single layers on a baking sheet and put in the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes. (This can be done in advance)

2. Boil 3-4 quarts of water in a large pot with some vegetable stock or bouillon added to the water along with a tsp of salt. Add fettuccine to the water and stir. Set timer for 7 minutes.

3. While the pasta is boiling, put the butter and one pressed garlic clove in a large saucepan and let the butter melt. Then add the cheese gradually while stirring along with half a cup of the boiling pasta water.

4. After the pasta has boiled for 7 minutes, strain it and add it to the cheese sauce and stir it all well. Add the mushrooms and whatever else you want to add and let it cook for 3 minutes. (If you are using Truffle oil, add it at the end before serving.)

5. Before serving, add the egg yolks and sprinkle paprika and fresh ground pepper on top. The yolks can be served on top of the pasta or mixed in.