Penne Pasta with Sun-dried Tomato and Portobello Mushroom Sauce
Prep time: 15 minutes (Cooking Time: 15 to 20 minutes)
What makes this recipe healthy is that what is omitted is as important as what it contains. Some pasta dishes with a simple marinara sauce can still use a lot of oil, and ingredients that bring out contrasting flavors. People on a restricted fat diet can feel good about eating this dish because it uses only a small amount of fat — olive oil — which is monounsaturated.
Whole-wheat pasta contains magnesium and potassium, and is high in fiber. The vegetables also provide fiber and the concentration of sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, red pepper flakes and basil pack a lot of flavor into one healthy dish.
- 1 1/2 cups hot water Add to list
- 3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes Add to list
- 4 cloves garlic Add to list
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped Add to list
- 1/4 cup fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried basil Add to list
- 1 1/2 cups crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced Add to list
- 12 ounces dried whole-wheat pasta Add to list
- 1 cup asparagus or other green vegetable Add to list
- 1 tablespoon olive oil Add to list
- 2 portobello mushrooms, sliced Add to list
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes Add to list
- Salt and pepper to taste Add to list
Bring 1 1/2 cups water to boil. Turn off the heat and add sun-dried tomatoes. Let sit for at least 15 minutes, more if you have time. While the tomatoes are soaking, chop the garlic, oregano and basil, slice the mushrooms and asparagus. Remove tomatoes and slice. Set aside and reserve the water.
Bring 4 to 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add pasta and cook according to directions (approximately 8 to 10 minutes) until al denté. Strain and set aside.
Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the portobello mushrooms in oil for about 5 minutes until browned. Turn down heat and add garlic. Sauté one additional minute. Add sun-dried tomato water and reduce over medium heat.
About 3 to 4 minutes before serving, add asparagus and basil and continue to cook over low to medium heat. Add cooked pasta. Adjust liquid and season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle on red pepper flakes if you are using them.
Finish with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, toss and serve. Each serving may be garnished with 1 tablespoon crumbled goat cheese or teaspoon olive tapenade for extra flavor.
Recipe by, Registered Dietician and Bastyr University graduate
Source: Sound Consumer January 2003