My favorite recipes are those that feature just a few ingredients so that the subtle and intricate flavors are not lost. …not to mention, they’re just easier to make! ;) Nearly every time I go to the grocery store I look at the portobella mushrooms longingly. They’re so good, but so expensive. This time I decided to take the plunge. I figured I could just employ the basic Budget Bytes principle of combining expensive ingredients with bulkier inexpensive ingredients to keep the cost down. Well, it worked marvelously! This Simple Portobella Pasta was a winner!
If you have the option to buy the portobella caps loose (by the pound) rather than packaged, you’re likely to get a better deal. My grocery store sells them both ways, $5.99 for a package of three small-ish caps, or $5.99/lb. Portobella mushrooms are very light and spongy, so they don’t weigh a lot. I got two large caps for just $2.70. Of course, weigh them out first and compare.
This pasta is super simple, but packed with flavor. Rich portobella mushrooms give a deep earthy flavor, while garlic, thyme, parmesan, and a splash of red wine vinegar add zing. All that marvelous flavor grabs a hold of the pasta and rides right into your happy mouth. Your very, very happy mouth.
Want to take it a step further? Try adding either spinach, sun dried tomatoes, feta cheese, or goat cheese. They all go marvelously with portobella mushrooms.
Simple Portobella Pasta
Simple portobella pasta
- 2 large portobella mushroom caps ($2.70)
- 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided ($0.48)
- 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar ($0.04)
- 12 oz rigatoni ($0.82)
- 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme ($0.03)
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan ($0.42)
- to taste salt and pepper ($0.10)
- 1/4 bunch flat leaf parsley ($0.19)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and then spritz lightly with non-stick spray. Lightly brush off any dirt or debris from the portobella mushrooms and then drizzle each cap with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 tablespoon of red wine vinegar, and a slight sprinkle of salt and pepper (both sides). Place the seasoned mushrooms on the prepared baking sheet (gill side down) and roast in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
- While the mushrooms are roasting, begin to boil a large pot of water to cook the pasta. Once the water reaches a full boil, add the pasta and continue to boil for 7-10 minutes or until tender. Reserve about a cup of the starchy cooking water before draining the pasta in a colander.
- Mince the garlic and add it to a large skillet along with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the dried thyme. Cook the garlic and thyme over medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes, or until the garlic is tender. Remove the skillet from the heat. Roughly chop the parsley.
- When the mushrooms have finished roasting, carefully cut each cap in half and then slice crosswise into thin strips. Add the drained pasta, sliced mushrooms, and chopped parsley to the skillet with the garlic (heat turned off). Toss to coat. Use a small amount of the reserved pasta water to loosen the pasta if it becomes dry. Add the parmesan cheese and toss to coat once again. If desired, add an extra splash of red wine vinegar before serving
Step By Step Photos
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with foil and spritz lightly with non-stick spray. Drizzle the mushrooms with about a 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil and red wine vinegar (each) and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Turn the caps over so that they’re gill side down (opposite of this picture) and roast for 30 minutes in the oven.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and then add the pasta. Boil the pasta for 7-10 minutes, or until it is tender. Save some of the starchy pasta water before draining the pasta in a colander.
Mince the garlic and add it to a large skillet along with the remaining 2 Tbsp of olive oil and the dried thyme. Cook over medium-low heat for a couple of minutes, or until the garlic is tender. Once it’s tender, turn the heat off.
When the mushrooms are finished roasting, cut each in half and then slice crosswise into thin strips. Be careful, as they’re very hot. Cut as thin as possible so that you can get a little bit of mushroom in every bite!
Add the sliced mushrooms to the skillet…
…along with the drained pasta and roughly chopped parsley. Toss everything to coat in the olive oil mixture. If your pasta gets dry or sticky, add a touch of the reserved pasta water.
Lastly, add the parmesan and toss to coat again. I like to add the parmesan last, after everything has had a chance to cool slightly so that the parmesan coats the pasta in its grated form, rather than melting and sticking together.
And then it’s ready to eat! For extra zing, you can add another splash of red wine vinegar just before serving.