Friday, January 15, 2010

From the Pantry: Mushroom Pasta

I wasn't feeling very well when I got home on Wednesday night. Though I was tempted to just order pizza and glue myself to the couch, I knew that wouldn't make me feel better any faster. I needed a somewhat nutritious, but most importantly, comforting meal. And I certainly wasn't going to the grocery store.

I had some mushrooms leftover from the coq au vin in the fridge, and a half box of whole wheat pasta from who knows when. Not exactly ideal, but it would work. I sliced the mushrooms (with a lack of enthusiasm, so they were thicker than usual) and sautéed them in butter while I started boiling a pot of water. Once the mushrooms cooked, I added some milk (and a little more butter, since I only had skim) and then grated some swiss cheese, which I added to the mushroom sauce once it had cooked down. I tossed the cooked pasted into the mushroom sauce, added a few spices and served it up with some parsley (you know, so it would seem fancier than it was).

I was surprised by how good it tasted. Even with a stuffed nose, the flavors were wonderful and comforting. I happily ate two bowls and felt content falling asleep at 9pm.

What do you like to cook when you're sick? As much as I love a good chicken soup, I'd been eating leftover lamb stew (sorry, eventually I'll get to that post) all week, so this pasta was a welcome change. I stayed home from work yesterday and ended up eating mostly toast, though I did attempt a pear and goat cheese tart for lunch (good, but exhausting). The pasta reminded me how important it is to try to keep some ingredients around. As romantic as it sounds to go out and shop fresh for each meal you have, there are always going to be days when the grocery store is not an option, and it's nice to have some produce laying around for impromptu pastas.

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