Finally finally FINALLY I am liking food again. You never realize how much food surrounds you and how much you think about food until suddenly running those menu plans in your head and thinking about a grocery list or even having your husband say the word “food” makes you have to go throw up. (I’m not even kidding on that last one. That actually happened.) I’m still having a bit of trouble with meats, but thank goodness I am back to being able to have peanut butter sandwiches.
It has been rough, but the silver lining of all of this and about how sick I’ve been and how much weight I’ve lost, is that I can pretty much eat whatever I want right now. I mean, I’m supposed to be healthy about it all (which I am generally being), but my doctor only have jokingly told me that I needed to go buy a pint of really fattening ice cream. I know it is a really obnoxious problem to have, but I’ve been having a hard time putting weight on and keeping it on. I’ve been carrying a bag of trail mix around with me though made of some peanuts and granola and a bit of chocolate, which is mostly seems to be solving the problem.
It also helps that I can cook dinner again. This weekend was the best food-wise. I watched cooking shows. I read cookbooks. When I had no clue what we were going to have for dinner, I pulled some pork chops out the freezer and made a wine and mushroom sauce to go with them. I made a menu plan for the coming week and went to the grocery store. I started planning Easter dinner.
I cannot even tell you how I have missed these things, and it is so good to feel like myself again.
So here’s to what feels like a new season, with some new meals and new foods, but most importantly just regular dinners again.
This recipe really hardly needs any adaptation, but I did decide, as usual, to use shallot instead of onion. Also, although parsley is on the ingredient list, we have eaten this dish twice without it and love it. I cannot even tell you how much I love this pasta. It is savory with a subtle sweetness that comes from the Marsala, and in the kind of way that makes you have to have another bite and then another because the flavors feel more complex than they should considering the simplicity of the dish. This one is definitely going on our regular dinner rotation.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small shallot, peeled and diced
- 1 lb. mushrooms, cleaned with a damp paper towel and diced
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup Marsala wine
- 1 lb. small-shaped pasta (like shells)
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- While you are waiting for your water to boil, heat a large skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, and once the olive oil is hot, add the shallot. Season with a small pinch of salt and pepper, and cook for about 1 minute, until the shallot is just beginning to turn brown on the edges. Then add the mushrooms, season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms release their liquid and most of the liquid evaporates, about 10 minutes.
- When your water comes to a boil, add the pasta and cook according to package directions (for small shaped pasta it is usually 8-10 minutes).
- Once the mushroom liquid has mostly evaporated and cooked down, add the Marsala to the pan. Cook, stirring often, until most of the Marsala has either absorbed or evaporated, about 5 minutes. Then lower the heat to medium-low.
- Drain the pasta and add it to the mushroom pan. Add the cheese and stir the pasta together with the mushrooms, then stir in the cream. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary, and stir in the parsley. Serve warm.