Always, always, always…the best sauces for pasta are in the time it takes to boil them. This instance was no different.
I decided to use “kampanoules” (ÎºÎ±Î¼Ï€Î±Î½Î¿ÏÎ»ÎµÏ‚) or little bells and I paired them with mushrooms and some amamaranth. Us Greeks eat alot of amaranth and we call them vlita.
Amaranth can be picked in the wild and we most often will boil them until softened, strain and toss in extra-virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice. This is a “super food” if ever there was one. Loaded with iron, good for the body and everyone should have more amaranth on their table!
Here in Toronto, I can find amaranth at Asian and some stores that cater to the Caribbean community. If you can’t find them, other bitter greens like mustard green, beet greens or even baby spinach would work here.
Since this is a quick pasta sauce, all I used were the tender tops of the amaranth (wilted nicely when the sauce was tossed with the pasta).
What more canÂ I say about this dish? It’s got mushrooms, extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, Boukovo (chillis), Feta, fresh thyme and mint with a final grate of Kefalotyri cheese.
Kampanoules With Mushrooms and Amaranth
Approx. 3 cups of Kampanoules (or rotini, orecchiette or other pasta of choice)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
12 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 cups of button mushrooms, sliced
4 cups of amaranth tops and leaves,Â (reserve thick stems for boiling for a salad)
2 tsp. of Boukovo (dried chilis)
6-7 fresh thyme sprigs
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
1/2 cup of crumbled Feta cheese
salt and pepper to taste
grated Kefalotyri (or Romano) cheese
- Place a large pot of water on your stove-top and bring to a boil. Add a good amount of salt when it comes to a boil. Wash the top stems and leaves of your amaranth and boil for a minute, remove with a slotted spoon and then blanche in cold water and strain. Reserve.
- In the same pot of boiling water, add your pasta and cook according to package instructions.
- In a large skillet over medium-low heat, add your olive oil and add the garlic and for the olive oil to capture the flavour of the garlic for about 3-4 minutes (be careful not to brown your garlic).
- Add the mushrooms, the leaves of fresh thyme (stripped from the branches) and the Boukovo. Stir and allow to simmer while occasionally tossing for 5-6 minutes. Set aside.
- When your pasta is “al dente”, reserve some of the pasta water and strain your pasta. Add the pasta into the skillet with the mushrooms and add the amaranth, crumbled Feta cheese and chopped mint and toss to coat. If the “sauce” is too dry, add some pasta water and continue to toss until well-coated.
- Taste and adjust seasoning with salt (the Feta should be enough) and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, grate some Kefalotyri cheese and fresh ground black pepper.
- Divide equally among 4 plates and serve. Serve this dish with a Ligas “leufko” or white.
If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or atÂ http://kalofagas.ca then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at truenorth67 AT gmail DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author.
Â© 2007-2009 Peter Minakis
. All rights reserved.