Friday, February 22, 2013

Meatless Fridays

I have found it kind of fun to have food rules, one of them being Meatless Fridays during lent. Of course I chuckle knowing that it all started because the fish mongers were hurting, and a priest was related to one of these said fishmongers, and decided to help him out, or something along those lines. Never the less on Fridays we avoid eating anything that walks on four legs. Obviously the easiest choice would be to make your favorite fish dish, but wait there is so much more. Fritatas, omelets, pasta dishes. These are days to pull a page from all the vegetarians, and see what their all so darn happy about. Beans, beans glorious beans, I had a cold bean side dish last night that was beautiful not only to the eye but to my very hungry tummy (working on getting recipe, will share when I get it). It great to challenge yourself and think outside of the box, enjoy the challenge. Here is something to get you started. This a great dish, especially of cold nights, like we are having in Ohio.

Rigatoni with Mushrooms, Garlic and Herbs


4 Tbs butter

½ cup flour

4 cups milk

¼ tsp nutmeg

salt and pepper



6 Tbs butter

1 Tbs Oil

1 lb fresh mixed mushrooms, roughly chopped

½ cup fresh parsley, chopped

½ tsp Herbs de Provence

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 cup vegetable or chicken stock

½ cup creamed sherry (Harveys)

1 cup Parmesan, grated


1 lb rigatoni

½ cup Parmesan, grated


Preheat oven to 400°

Prepare pasta according to package directions.

To make the béchamel, melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add flour and stir to make a smooth paste. Whisk in milk until the paste is well incorporated. Over medium heat stir the béchamel until in begins to thicken and comes to a boil. Allow to bubble for about 5 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Remove from heat.

Melt butter and oil in a large sauté pan, add mushrooms, herbs, and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes, or until mushrooms are tender.

Add stock, and stir until almost all of the liquid is absorbed. Add sherry, and sauté until syrupy.

Stir mushrooms into béchamel and add 1 cup of Parmesan cheese. Combine mushroom mixture with warm pasta, and toss to coat. Grease a 9 X 13 pan with butter and pour pasta into pan. Top with ½ cup Parmesan.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Serves 4 to 6 people


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