Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A new way to eat portobellos

Of course I am a fan of the portobello mushroom in a variety of recipes -- grilled, with goat cheese, in a sandwich, in fajitas -- and I almost always include some mushrooms with my pasta. So I was delighted to find a new, albeit obvious, way to enjoy these big mushrooms. Mushroom Parmesan! I do like eggplant parmesan, but I've had bad and bitter eggplant. Even better, this recipe is quick and easy and doesn't require frying.

I got the idea from my favorite television chef, Giada De Laurentis, whose show I enjoy because she makes a good number of dishes that are vegetarian or in which the meat can be replaced or omitted. I followed her recipe with a few additions.

First, I started the pasta water boiling as this always seems to take a long time on my stove. I wanted to serve the mushroom parm with pasta and a green salad, and I can't think of anything that would have been better.

I cleaned and dried the mushrooms and drizzled a little Italian dressing in them. This wasn't in the original recipe but I like the mushrooms a little moist and I enjoy the kick of the vinegar and spices. Next, I grilled them for about 5 minutes per side on the grill pan. Of course there needs to be a little oil on each side.

I used jar pasta sauce -- Newman's Own -- and just poured some in the bottom of my baking dish, then place the mushrooms in upside down. Then I dolloped some more pasta sauce in each mushroom, covered it with slices of fresh mozzarella, and then topped it with shaved Parmesan. Bake at 400F for 15 minutes. I finished this with a short broil because my husband likes his cheese browned.

This was very tasty and was healthier than the fried eggplant. The mushrooms don't need a lot of cheese to pack a flavor punch. My husband told me that this was his favorite parm dish hands down, but sometimes he might feel like ravioli.

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