Gemelli Pasta with Mushroom Sauce and Grilled Strip Steaks with Chimichurri Sauce

Gemelli Pasta with Mushroom Sauce and Grilled Strip Steaks
I usually like what I cook. Sometimes I really like what I cook. Last night, I impressed myself. I think my niche is that I am constantly looking for new recipes and therefore, always making something new.

On my day off, I caught some of the perky Rachael Ray Show. She had an intriguing recipe for pasta with a mushroom sauce. I picked up most of the ingredients as well as some strip steaks that were on sale and made it a meal. I added a chimichurri sauce for the steaks which is a simple, garlic, herb, olive oil, and vinegar concoction.

Rave reviews on this menu from my husband and myself. "Great sauce" and "the pasta is very hearty." My son stuck with the steak and the ever present applesauce. One daughter had the steak, her obligatory taste of the mushroom pasta and, then promptly ate half a plate of pasta with leftover spaghetti sauce. My most adventurous eater had the steak and 2 servings of the mushroom pasta. What can you expect from kids? Can't please everyone at ever meal.

Gemelli Pasta with Mushroom Sauce

Adapted this from a Rachael Ray recipe. Gemelli pasta looks like wavy little lasagna noodles. Use any shape you have on hand.

1 pound pasta
2 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup olive oil
4 large portebello mushrooms, sliced thin
20 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup onions, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon allspice
Parmesan cheese, grated fresh
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
2 cups arugula, shredded

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.

Heat stock to boiling in a small pot. Reduce to simmer. Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large saucepan. I used my wok.  Add garlic, onions, mushrooms, thyme, allspice, and a few cranks of pepper. Cook for about 10 - 12 minutes until the mushrooms are tender. Remove half of the mushrooms and place in a food processor or blender. Add about a cup of the warm stock and process to from a thick, kinda chunky sauce. Return sauce to large saucepan and add the remaining stock. Season with salt. Add the pasta to the mushroom sauce mixture and a few big handfuls of Parmesan cheese. Toss to coat.

Spoon pasta onto plates and top with arugula, more Parmesan cheese and the nuts. You may want to crank some more pepper on top. We did.

Grilled Strip Steaks with Chimichurri Sauce

I seasoned my steaks with some Chicago Steak Seasoning from Penzey's Spices. If you don't have it, just a little salt and pepper will do. The steaks were grilled for about 4 - 5 minutes per side. They were about an inch thick. With this sauce, a little goes a long way. Drizzle over grilled steaks.

Chimichurri Sauce

1 clove garlic, minced
about 1 teaspoon Kosher salt or other coarse salt
about 1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried sage
2 tablespoon white wine vinegar or just white vinegar
2 tablespoon olive oil

Place garlic, salt, pepper and spices in a small bowl. Mash with the back of a spoon to make a paste. Add vinegar and whisk to mix. Add the olive oil and whisk to mix.  Drizzle over grilled steaks.


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