Tag Archives: Italian

Way Rad Bowl of Pasta


I didn’t know what else to call it. It has so many preparation-detailed ingredients that the full name would be something too long and annoying. So way rad bowl of pasta it is, because that’s what it was.

Sooo yeah. Remember how I said I wasn’t eating carbs and I missed them oh so much, but I refused to eat them? I kicked myself in the ass and told myself “moderation and portion control, betch” and then made this way rad pasta dish. And I would make it again, too.

I made this the night before our treadmill finally made its appearance in our basement gym, when I knew I would be running like mad the minute the delivery guys left my house. So I decided it would be best to pretend like I was running a marathon thereby validating a big bowl of pasta.

Although the base of this recipe comes from Cooking Light, I had to make some changes so it could fit into my “let’s be friggan’ healthy” lifestyle.


For instance, I used whole wheat pasta, used a lighter cheese, and since we needed some kind of protein in there other than cheese, I threw grilled portobello “steaks” on top. So my version was born and was received well by both me and the man of the house.  I can’t get over the smokiness and spicy flavor this dish had, but tossing it all together with seared tomatoes and fresh spinach in a chili garlic sauce? Fuhgettaboutit.

Make it. Moderate it. Portion it well. Eat it. Delicioso. Fin.

5.0 from 2 reviews

Fettuccine with Chili Garlic Sauce and Portobello Mushroom
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A robust bowl of whole wheat pasta, seared tomatoes and fresh spinach tossed in a chili garlic sauce, then topped with sliced portobello “steaks”.
Recipe type: pasta, vegetarian, main dish
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
  • 8 oz. whole wheat fettuccine, or long pasta of choice (linguine would be yummy)
  • ½ cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 1½ tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (use ¼ if you prefer less spice)
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 15-oz. can organic tomato sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 2 oz. part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4 portobello mushroom caps, de-stemmed and gills scraped out
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil, add pasta and cook according to package directions, about 7-9 minutes, or until al dente
  2. While the pasta cooks, spray a large skillet with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Arrange tomatoes cut side down and cook 1 to 1½ minutes or until tomatoes start to soften or burst. Remove from skillet, transfer to bowl and set aside.
  4. In the same skillet, add the 1½ tablespoons olive oil over low heat.
  5. Add the red pepper flakes and sliced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 3-5 minutes.
  6. Add the tomato sauce and salt, stir and cook 5-7 minutes or until warmed through.
  7. While the tomato sauce simmers, the pasta should be done so you can drain and set aside.
  8. Get your grill pan ready or a separate pan and grill up portobello caps until browned and grilled well.
  9. Slice mushrooms and set aside.
  10. Once the sauce has thickened slightly, add the spinach, cheese, and drained pasta and toss well to coat.
  11. To serve, add mixed pasta to bowls, spoon a few grape tomatoes around the outer edge of bowls and top each bowl with sliced mushroom.

Mushroom Risotto For Two

Risotto is one of my favorite foods of all time. I LOVE it! The main problem, of course, is that it’s almost always made with chicken stock or broth. That doesn’t make it very vegetarian friendly. I always feel like the annoying customer who has to ask, “Is your risotto made with chicken broth or stock?”, but I just want to make sure, you know?

The last time we made Parmesan risotto, we used vegetable broth and it turned it really dark and took away the pretty color. The nice thing about making mushroom risotto is that it’s already dark so using a darker broth is A-OK!

Most mushroom risotto recipes suggest using dried porcini mushrooms and then letting them re-hydrate in water. Then you can even save the mushroom liquid as part of your cooking liquid. While that would have been awesome, we didn’t have any of those, so we just used baby Bella mushrooms, which we sliced up!

The process of making risotto does take a while and is all about stirring, but it was pretty good! We ended up having to use more liquid than normal recipes suggest, but I think that’s because we used fresh mushrooms. Actually I don’t know if that’s true, but we had to use more.

Here’s what you need:
•1 tablespoon butter
•1 tablespoon olive oil
•1/4 cup onion, chopped
•1 cup Arborio rice
•1/2 cup dry white wine (we used a Pinot Grigio)
•1/2 pound fresh baby Bella mushrooms (8 oz. carton), wiped clean and sliced
•3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
•1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Start by heating the vegetable broth over medium-low heat. Just bring it to a simmer so it’s warmed up. Then chop your onion, wipe clean and slice your mushrooms and set both aside.

In a saucepan or large pot, add the butter and olive oil over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted, add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Next add the Arborio rice and cook for 1-2 minutes or until it’s lightly toasted. Then add the wine and let it cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute to let the alcohol cook out. Add in all the mushrooms and stir to coat them in all the flavors.

Next, add in the vegetable broth, 1/2 cup at a time and stir to help the cooking process along. When the rice is a little dry, add another 1/2 cup. Keep doing this until you’ve used all the liquid and the risotto is coming together nicely and is creamy. For us, it took about 35-40 minutes total. We also left the risotto alone, not stirring it constantly, so some of the rice could cook up nicely since again, we had to cook fresh mushrooms with them. It was worth it, though! We were left with creamy, flavorful and mushroomy-meaty risotto. Throw in the Parmesan at the end, stir it in so it gets extra gooey and serve! You can also put a few shavings of cheese right before you eat.

Mushroom risotto for two! Or maybe just for you ;) Enjoy!

Have you ever made risotto before?
What’s your favorite kind?

Pin It

Caprese Salad

The colors of Italy never looked so good! This super simple, and very popular salad is one I love anytime of year. However, having this salad in the summer with fresh ingredients is how I like it best.

What you’ll need:
•1 tomato, sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices
•Fresh mozzarella, sliced in to 1/4-thick slices
•9 fresh basil leaves
•Balsamic vinegar
•Olive oil
•Sea salt
•Freshly ground black pepper

You’ll need three slices of tomato and three slices of the fresh mozzarella. Layer tomato, mozzarella, two basil leaves until you have a little stack.
Take the remaining basil leaves, roll them up, and slice them (chiffonade) into ribbons. Sprinkle that on top, along with a splash of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. It’s as simple as that!