Playing with Portobello’s

Large portobellos are so meaty and satisfying, it’s the perfect vehicle for pasta topped stuffing. 
Tiny star pasta called stelline, tossed with garlic, red, yellow and orange peppers, fresh herbs and  cheese of your choice. For a nice light lunch or dinner, it’s delicious served with a salad, or you can have it as a side dish to accompany your favorite protein, either way you’ll love it, and it looks pretty too!
The topping could be made in advance then arranged on the mushrooms at the last minute.

  In a small  pan drizzled with olive oil add minced garlic, finely diced red, yellow and orange diced peppers. Stir in fresh herbs like basil and parsley and your favorite shredded cheese, I used romano and asiago. Toss in your precooked tiny pasta.
The mushrooms I slightly precooked in a 425 degree oven until they started to wilt a little.
Top each mushroom with the pasta mixture, then place under the broiler for up to 5 minutes or until the topping is golden or mushrooms are warmed through. 

Portobellos also make a fantastic meatless lasagna, stack three high and fill each cap with a layer of marinara then top with a mixture made up of of ricotta, grated romano, mozzarella, asiago, basil and parsley.
 Prepare mushrooms as above.
Spoon more marinara over the top and bake for around 15 minutes in a 400 degree oven or just until warmed through.

Buon Appetito! 

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Ziti with Caramelized Onions and Portobellos "O Foods"

This is a healthy quick meal you could put together during the week and I promise you,
you won’t even miss the meat! The sweetness of the caramelized onions, paired with the earthy flavor of the portobellas are a perfect combination. I decided to use a whole wheat pasta which held up perfectly to the dense texture of the mushrooms.

Ingredients:

3 Onions
1 Leek, White Portion Only
3T Olive Oil
1 t Sugar
1 Pound Portobella Mushrooms Cut Into 1/4″ Slices
3 Garlic Cloves Minced
1/2 Pound ziti
Fresh Chopped Parsley
Grated Romano or Parmesan Cheese
Salt and Pepper

In a large skillet, combine onions, leek and 2 T of olive oil. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring to coat well. Stir in some salt and the sugar. Cover skillet and cook on low for about 45 minutes, or until onions are light brown. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Next, stir in mushrooms and remaining olive oil and a T of water if mixture seems to dry. cover and cook on medium for 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, parsley, salt and pepper.

Cook pasta Al dente, drain and add to mushroom mixture. Serve with grated cheese and fresh chopped parsley.
Recipe adapted from a 2005, Tastes of Italia magazine.

I’m sending this dish off in my support of Ovarian Cancer Awareness, my own mother was a victim of this disease at a very young age. If you can, please join in the support!


September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and for the second year in a row, Sara of Ms Adventures in Italy and Michelle of Bleeding Espresso are hosting the O Foods Contest to raise awareness of this important health issue.
There are TWO WAYS to take part in the O Foods Contest:
ONE: Post a recipe to your blog using a food that starts or ends with the letter O (e.g., oatmeal, orange, okra, octopus, olive, onion, potato, tomato); include this entire text box in the post; and send your post url along with a photo (100 x 100) to ofoods[at]gmail[dot]com by 11:59 pm (Italy time) on Monday, September 28, 2009.
PRIZES for recipe posts:
1st: Signed copy of Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen by Gina DePalma, Executive Pastry Chef of Babbo Ristorante in NYC, who is currently battling ovarian cancer, inspired this event, and will be choosing her favorite recipe for this prize;
2nd: Signed copy of Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home by Mario Batali (winner chosen by Sara);
3rd: Signed copy of Vino Italiano: The Regional Italian Wines of Italy by Joseph Bastianich (winner chosen by Michelle).
OR
TWO: If you’re not into the recipe thing, simply post this entire text box in a post on your blog to help spread the word and send your post url to ofoods[at]gmail[dot]com by 11:59 pm (Italy time) on Monday, September 28, 2009.
Awareness posts PRIZE:
One winner chosen at random will receive a Teal Toes tote bag filled with ovarian cancer awareness goodies that you can spread around amongst your friends and family.
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From the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund:
Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancers in the United States and is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women; a woman’s lifetime risk of ovarian cancer is 1 in 67.
The symptoms of ovarian cancer are often vague and subtle, making it difficult to diagnose, but include bloating, pelvic and/or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly; and urinary symptoms (urgency or frequency).
There is no effective screening test for ovarian cancer but there are tests which can detect ovarian cancer when patients are at high risk or have early symptoms.
In spite of this, patients are usually diagnosed in advanced stages and only 45% survive longer than five years. Only 19% of cases are caught before the cancer has spread beyond the ovary to the pelvic region.
When ovarian cancer is detected and treated early on, the five-year survival rate is greater than 92%.
And remember, you can also always donate to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund at our page through FirstGiving!
Please help spread the word about ovarian cancer.Together we can make enough noise to kill this silent killer.

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