Rigatoni With Mushrooms & Cheese

I’ve always loved mushrooms (ever since I was a kid) and besides them being healthy for you (great boost to your immune system), they are also versatile. Mushrooms are a great side dish, they add great flavour to stocks and sauces, you can add them to an omelet, make a soup, fry them, grill them, pan sear them, roast or slow poach them. I like them in place of meat, in rice and in today’s dish…a pasta.

You can pull off this dish with your usual button or cremini mushrooms but if you add some more exotic ones like King, Oyster or Shitake you’re going to get different textures and an array of mushroom flavours. Dried mushrooms are also great here and you can re-hydrate some in hot water, chop them up and use the mushroom stock that you unknowingly just made.

Reconstituted mushrooms with fresh mushrooms, herbs and cheese are a delicious combo. Today, I felt like using crumbled goat’s milk Feta for some tartness and some grated sheep’s milk Kefalotyri cheese to give some sharp high end to the dish. If you’re looking to take a break from meat, mushrooms are one way to fill your belly and satiate your meat cravings.

Rigatoni With Mushrooms & Cheese

(serves 4)

1 lbs. of assorted mushrooms, sliced

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, finely diced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 cup dry white wine

1 cup mushroom or vegetable stock

7-8 sprigs of fresh thyme

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup crumbled goat’s milk Feta cheese

Grated Kefalotyri cheese (or Peccorino sheep’s milk cheese) to taste

4 cups of dry rigatoni pasta

  1. Place  large pot of water on your stovetop and bring to a boil. Season the water with salt and add the pasta. Cook for about 8 minutes, drain and reserve.
  2. In  a large skillet, add your olive oil over medium heat and then add the mushrooms. Season with some salt and pepper and stir occasionally to brown all sides of the mushrooms. After 5 minutes, add the onions, garlic, thyme and sweat for another 5 minutes.
  3. Now add the wine, stock and bring up to  boil then lower to a simmer. Cook uncovered for about 15-20 minutes or until most of the liquid is gone. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and add the cooked pasta and stir-in along with the crumbled Feta.
  4. Add the chopped parsley, lightly toss then finish-off with grated Kefalotyri cheese and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Pair with a bottle of Estate Hatzimichalis Chardonnay.

 

© 2012 – 2016,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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7 Comments for “Rigatoni With Mushrooms & Cheese”

says:

I didn’t know that about mushrooms and the immune system. I’d eat this dish gladly even without that benefit. It’s again so striking to me how similar some of these Greek dishes are to the Italian version.

Angeliki

says:

Be still my heart! :-)

Looks amazing! I will definitely try it!

I LOVE veggies, and we Greeks know how to prepare them into tasty main courses, thanks to olive oil and the Orthodox tradition of the Lenten (and other feast day) fasts which forced us to be creative ‘vegans’ and ‘vegetarians’ ! *wink*

I thought you and your followers might like this information on mushrooms…

“Mushrooms are an excellent source of potassium, a mineral that helps lower elevated blood pressure and reduces the risk of stroke. One medium portabella mushroom has even more potassium than a banana or a glass of orange juice. One serving of mushrooms also provides about 20 to 40 percent of the daily value of copper, a mineral that has cardioprotective properties.

Mushrooms are a rich source of riboflavin, niacin, and selenium. Selenium is an antioxidant that works with vitamin E to protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals. Male health professionals who consumed twice the recommended daily intake of selenium cut their risk of prostate cancer by 65 percent. In the Baltimore study on Aging, men with the lowest blood selenium levels were 4 to 5 times more likely to have prostate cancer compared to those with the highest selenium levels.

The most commonly consumed mushroom in the United States is Agaricus bisporus or the white button mushroom. A. bisporus has two other forms – Crimini or brown mushrooms with a more earthy flavor and firmer texture, and Portabella mushrooms with a large umbrella-shaped cap and meaty flavor.

All three mushrooms, but especially the fresh button mushrooms, possess substances that inhibit the activity of aromatase (an enzyme involved in estrogen production), and 5-alpha-reductase (an enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT). The latest findings show that white button mushrooms can reduce the risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer. An extract of white button mushrooms decreased cell proliferation and decreased tumor size in a dose-dependent manner. The chemoprotective effect can be seen with an intake of about 100 grams (3.5 ozs) of mushrooms per day.

Shiitake mushrooms have been used for centuries by the Chinese and Japanese to treat colds and flu. Lentinan, a beta-glucan isolated from the fruiting body of shiitake mushrooms, appears to stimulate the immune system, help fight infection, and demonstrates anti-tumor activity.”

Angeliki

says:

Made this awesome recipe for the family today! It was a delicious recipe for a cold winter’s day, and a big hit with my family! :-)

pat Xikis

says:

I can’t wait to try this recipie. The photos look so enticing I can already smell this dish cooking .