Toasted Mushroom Pasta

Stumbled across this Toasted Mushroom Pasta dish whilst searching for some vegetarian recipes.  My first thought was toasted mushrooms and how scrumptious that sounded.  However toasted pasta was a new one to me.  I just had to give this a go and the results were very pleasing.

Firstly, the wonderful smells.  It reminded me of an Italian restaurant.  Certainly grabbed the kids attention as they asked what the yummy smell was and if I was making garlic bread.  

As this dish is a little different to our normal pasta meals I wasn't sure what everyone would think.  The kids gave it a 9½ out of 10.  That's a keeper as far as I'm concerned.

Note:  It asks for ½ cup dry white wine.  As we don't drink wine I usually have those little satchets handy for recipes.  I did have a red wine satchet however had run out of white.  Instead of purchasing a satchet I replaced it with watered down white wine vinegar and it worked well.  

Toasted Mushroom Pasta
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
225g mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ cup parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ cup dry white wine (see note above)
250g macaroni pasta
2 cups chicken stock
Cracked black pepper for seasoning
¼ cup cream
Optional:  grated parmesan cheese and spring onion for topping

Heat a large pan over a high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the oil.  Quickly fry the mushrooms for 2-3 minutes making sure you don't cook them through as yet.  A little under done is perfect.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic, parsley and oregano.  Cook for another 2 minutes.

Pour in the wine and simmer for a further 5 minutes.

Remove the mushroom and sauce mixture to a clean bowl.

Without wiping the pan add the remaining olive oil and butter.  Once the butter has melted add the macaroni.  Constantly stir for approximately 5 minutes or until the pasta starts to turn a golden colour.  

Once the pasta has toasted add the chicken stock and season with black pepper.   Mix well and simmer until the pasta is just tender.  Whilst cooking give it an occasional stir to rotate the pasta and also avoid it from sticking.

Return the mushroom and sauce mixture to the pan and mix everything together well.  Add the cream and cook for a few minutes.

Remove from the heat and serve.  I added freshly grated parmesan cheese and spring onions on top.

Vanilla Almond Slice

With Christmas approaching I like to have a few more healthier treats in the mix.  Vanilla Almond Snack Bars were just what I was looking for.  They are easy to make, soft and chewy and delicious.  My daughter and I made them on a Sunday afternoon all ready for another week of school.  

Vanilla Almond Snack Bars

Menu Plan 12th - 18th November

We had a rather busy week especially in the beginning.  Freezer meals certainly came in handy.  Now I have a little more room in the freezer as well.

As I had excess pumpkin in the fridge I made this wonderful Pumpkin Cake with Sultanas on Sunday afternoon.  Love the golden colour and it has a wonderful texture too.

Pumpkin Cake with Sultanas

Sunday Chat

Sitting here with my teapot brewing some Hibiscus and Cinnamon tea looking back on the past few weeks.  The weeks are certainly going by in a flash and when I look back it always amazes me how much happens.  The kids have finished their exams now and only have two more weeks of school left.  Both the kids and I are looking forward to the holidays with sleep-ins, long breakfasts, seeing more of family, catching up with friends and of course Christmas.

It only seems like yesterday when we looked after Mum and Dad's little dog Marley for the night.  The contrast of having a young pup compared to our beautiful Samson really stood out.  The two got along so well and both tolerated each other. 

You're welcome any time Marley.

Slow Cooker Ham, Beans and Potatoes

I can always remember Mum's split pea soup with the big chunks of meat from the ham hock.  We loved it especially those meaty bits.  A few weeks ago I came across this Crock Pot Ham, Beans and Potatoes recipe on Maria's blog The English Kitchen and just knew I would have to give it a go.  It was even better than expected.

The kids reactions were the best.  You can forget the score of 10/10 from our daughter as she gave it an infinity out of infinity - if there is such a thing.

The recipe uses a ham hock however they are difficult to find here at the moment so I used a ham bone from the delicatessen which works well too.   I'll use ham hocks when available however ham bones make a great substitution.

Slow Cooker Ham, Beans and Potatoes

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