I find there are many situations we believe require us to follow protocol exactly: Croutons in your salad. Chocolate chips in your cookies. Cream in your coffee. And then of course the one we are all afraid to mess with...MEAT in your entree!
I have some news for you. Many of these rules can be seriously ignored -- and still be totally survivable -- requiring very LITTLE psychotherapy to regain balance. (I have a few names if you need them!)
My favorite rebellious act is to leave meat out of your dinner entree completely. Even if you're having a party!! As Westerners, we eat so much meat. It's not that good for us and protein in available in so many other foods, so just for today, why not accept this notion, and try my delicious pasta dish shown above?
We eat with our eyes. (I hope you use a fork, too!) So the color and composition of a meal without meat needs to feel finished and complete. This strategy will give your diners sensory cues that satisfy that need to see all food groups on their plate. This pasta dish features beautifully sauteed baby bella mushrooms that are then presented in a silky browned butter truffle sauce over pappardelle noodles with a little fresh thyme, so I think I'm giving you something pretty darned amazing to begin your meatless journey, yes?
To add a luxurious note of extra flavor I added some truffle salt and browned the butter while making the sauce. Then it is finished with a roasted red pepper tzatziki sauce. In fact, there is so much velvety umami goodness in here, you'll plan a meatless night every week!!
Get the recipe below and start to defy the rules, now!
RECIPE: Sauteed Mushrooms in a Browned Butter Truffle Sauce over Pappardelle with Red Pepper Tzatziki
Serves 4 / Click here for printable version
2 pints baby bella mushrooms sliced thinly
10 oz pappardelle pasta noodles
6 T of unsalted butter
1 C of chicken stock
1 t truffle salt (or 1 t truffle oil + ½ t salt)
Handful of fresh thyme leaves
3 T olive oil
6 oz plain yogurt
2 garlic cloves grated
2 t lemon juice
3 T roasted red peppers chopped finely (I buy the bottled when needed)
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix the yogurt, grated garlic, lemon juice, red pepper, and a little salt and pepper in a small bowl. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
Bring 10 C water to boil in a large saucepan. Cook the pasta until al dente.
Rinse, pat dry and thinly slice the mushrooms. While the pasta cooks.Heat a large saute pan to high heat and add 3 T olive oil and 3 T butter. Add the mushrooms and saute on medium high until browed and caramelized. About 5 minutes. Use a large pan so you don’t crowd the mushrooms. Add the other 3 T butter to the mushroom mixture and cook just until the butter begins to barely brown. Immediately deglaze with the stock, stirring to incorporate all ingredients. Then, add the truffle salt or truffle oil. (Taste your sauce during the process so you know if it is salty enough. If using the oil you may need a bit more regular salt.) Add the thyme, reserving a bit for garnish and stir. Now ladle the pasta into the sauce, right from the boiling pot. No need to drain. Stir well to cover. Serve with a bit of the tzatziki sauce and a dusting of the fresh thyme.
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Meet the Cook...
My name is Camine Pappas and I love to create beautiful and delicious food that anyone can make. My signature style centers around a love for combining things in a way you might not expect as I work to find a hidden combination of colors, textures and flavors from the things that are in my pantry and/or easy to obtain.