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Peppery Portabellas with Fettuccini Recipe

Eating sliced portabella mushrooms in sauce is much like eating sliced beef in sauce. Prepare and serve over fettuccini pasta as you would a meat sauce. Fettuccini pasta is used because it is necessary for the pasta to be able to hold its own with meatiness of this dense and meaty portabella mushroom. These mushrooms are also nice over hot rice, cheese baked polenta or grits, see hint below.


1 lb portabella mushrooms, brown gills removed* and sliced
12 oz. uncooked fettuccini pasta
4 tbsp olive oil
3/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1/4 to 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1-15 oz. can crushed tomatoes in puree
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth, unsalted
8 oz. fresh asparagus or green beans, sliced on the diagonal in 1-inch pieces (about 1-1/2 cups)
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped (optional)


Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add sliced mushrooms and cook for 6 minutes, stir to keep from burning. Sprinkle one-half of the salt and pepper over the mushrooms, stir and remove from skillet. Place cooked mushrooms in a shallow bowl lined with a cotton towel, cover to keep warm.

Add remaining oil and heat. Add thinly sliced garlic and salt, cook for 1 minute then add red pepper flakes and continue cooking for another minute or until garlic begins to turn gold. Stir garlic and red pepper flakes and add crushed tomatoes and broth. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes. The sauce will thicken slightly. Add vegetable and cook until tender. Stir in cooked mushrooms and juice of mushrooms. Stir once more to blend. Set aside and allow flavors to meld. Add remaining salt and pepper if desired.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add fettuccine and cook covered until it is 'al dente' tender. This should take 8 to 10 minutes. When done remove pasta from heat, drain and put in a serving platter. Spoon mushroom mixture over pasta.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley, if desired.

Makes 4 to 6 servings


1. If you let the mushroom and vegetable sauce cook a little longer it becomes thicker and is good served of rice. You can also serve it over polenta or grits.

2. Sometimes large portabello mushrooms have thick brown gills. Use a spoon to gently scrape and remove them. Wash quickly and gently in cool water.

3. Try grilled portabella and tomato slices on a buttered bun. No need for mayo, etc.

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