Mushroom Walnut Ravioli

One of the things that’s really tough when it comes to city living is grocery shopping.

Whatever you buy you have to be able to carry home, because unlike the suburban dwellers, us city folk don’t have a car trunk to transport the cans of chick peas, boxes of pasta and gallons of milk.

This means a bit of strategizing goes into my grocery shopping ventures. I try not to buy milk and orange juice at the same time, or do a restock on canned goods when i need to buy eggs (can be utterly disastrous).

The other grocery conundrum is while there may be a fabulous deal on cereal or pancake mix, and while it is true that these things have a long shelf life and can be bought in large quantities, my itty bitty city kitchen cannot hold large quantities of anything.

So, what’s a city chef to do?

Well, I’ll tell you.

Start thinking about how you can buy just a few things and transform them into one or maybe even two fantastically flavorful meals. That’s exactly what this dinner is. Three ingredients (plus butter and olive oil, which I always have) that go a long way when it comes to flavor, won’t take up a lot of room and aren’t too heavy to carry home.

  • Ravioli
  • Mushrooms
  • Walnuts

Bring a pot of water to boil and cook your ravioli according to package instructions.

In a skillet, drop in sliced mushrooms, some butter and some olive oil (I never measure butter and oil, so use your best judgment)

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Cook until the mushrooms are browned.

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And then add in your chopped walnuts.

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Cook until the walnuts are warmed, stirring so they don’t brown.

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Drain your ravioli and top with the mushroom walnut mix. For extra decadence, you can add a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.

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Decadent, indulgent, and super easy.

Mushroom and Leek Frittata

Frittata is basically the Italian version of quiche.

Only it’s better.

Not because it’s Italian

But because you make the whole thing in one pot.

Score!

Mushrooms and leeks are a fantastic combination. Leeks, if you’ve never had them, have a very mild onion flavor and, because of their light flavor, crispness and pretty green color, they just feel so springy!

Only word of warning, leeks are sandy and gritty. you have to really wash them thoroughly. Preferred method? Slice them in half length-wise, then cut into small slices. Fill a large bowl with water and the drop slices in. The sediment will fall to the bottom.

For this dish you will need

white button mushrooms, sliced

2 leeks, cleaned and sliced

4 eggs

splash of milk

shredded fontina (optional)

olive oil

salt

pepper

Drizzle olive oil in an oven-proof skilled. If you don’t have one, then you’ll just transfer the whole thing to a baking dish and wind up with a two pot dinner instead of a one pot. Still not terrible.

Toss in the mushrooms and cook over medium heat.

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when the mushrooms start to brown, add in the leeks and let them cook for about 10 minutes, until soft.

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season with salt and lots of black pepper and stir.

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Meanwhile, in a bowl whisk together 4 eggs and a splash of milk.

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If you are using, add the grated fontina to the eggs and stir

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Lower the heat on your mushrooms and leeks (or transfer them to a baking dish) and pour the eggs over the veggies.

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If you’re using the frying pan to bake them, bring the heat back up to medium and cook the eggs a bit, maybe 5-7 minutes.

If you’ve transferred to the baking dish, skip this step and instead pop into a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes.

Either way, cook until the eggs are set. Frying pan method requires less time in the oven as we pre-cooked the eggs a bit.

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Slice up and enjoy.

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One, two Mushroom Ragu

I was good all day. No instant hot cocoa in the cafeteria, no trip to the vending machine, no mindless munching.

My fruit salad and my English muffin with homemade strawberry faux-jam kept me full and satisfied all day.

Okay there may have been a piece of chocolate in there. But it was dark chocolate. And that’s good for me. Check this Fitday article on the benefits of dark chocolate.

So now I get to go home and indulge. A little.

This recipe actually feels more indulgent than it is. Mushrooms have a way of doing that to a dish. They trick your brain into thinking you’re eating something you shouldn’t be when really you’re giving your body so much goodness.

Mushrooms are the only fruit or vegetable source of Vitamin D. Those little guys are more than just a fungi! ¬†They help give us that does of D. And Vitamin D helps make us happy; deficiencies can lead to depression, which is why we’re so blue in the winter when we get less sunlight.

So mushrooms have this feel good vitamin to give us a feel good boost. Cake gives us a feel good boost, but it’s short lived. And we feel guilty afterwards. Mushrooms feel naughty, but they help boost our immune system, ¬†give us a dose of antioxidants and provide B vitamins that help boost metabolism.

Check that out!

You’re not going to pass by those humble-looking little mushrooms in the grocery store again!

In fact, here’s a great, quick dinner to get in some D and B vitamins and to help comfort you as you make your way through the mid-week hump day slump.

Because if you’re like me, you’re tired at the end of Wednesday. You’re looking at the calendar and feeling like Friday. Is. So. Far. Away.

This dish combines the comfort of pasta with the feed your body the right things goodness of mushrooms.

Yes, you can make your own ravioli.

No, I do not have time to do this after work.

Guess what? Frozen ravioli is okay. I grew up in an Italian household where my mother AND my grandmother used frozen raviolis. If grandma did it, then it’s okay.

There are definitely occasions when making your own is called for – anniversaries, birthdays, days when you’re snowed in with nothing to do – but week night dinners is not one of those occasions.

There are a ton of brands that make really tasty, good quality frozen raviolis. Explore the freezer section.

This is a two pot dinner – one to cook the pasta and one to make the sauce.

But everything comes together so quickly that it makes up for having to wash two pots. Promise.

You will need

ravioli (I’m using three cheese, but you can get creative with flavor combinations and try spinach or even pumpkin ravioli)

mushrooms (I’m just using plain button mushrooms)

onion or shallot (whatever is on hand)

2 cloves of garlic

1 tablespoon butter

olive oil

black pepper

red wine

Fill a pot with water and turn to high to bring to a boil. While the water is coming to a boil, you can make the sauce. The sauce and the pasta should be finished at the same time.

Drizzle olive oil into a frying pan. Add the chopped onion and garlic. I want the mushroom flavor to be really prominent, so I’m not using much onion or garlic. Adjust according to your taste.

Cook the onions until translucent. Be careful not to burn the garlic (I have a tendency to do this, so the warning is as much for me as for you).

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While the onion and garlic simmers, chop the mushrooms.

Toss them in with the onions and garlic and add some black pepper. Again. One of my favorite kitchen smells.

Cook the mushrooms down.

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Around this time, your water should be at a boil. Toss in the ravioli. I never salt my pasta water. I know this is an area of much debate, but I do drizzle a little olive oil in the pot when I’m making ravs so they don’t stick together. Mom did it. Grandma did it. I do it.

Cook the ravs according to the instructions on the package. You can lighten this meal up by using penne or angel hair too.

When the mushrooms are cooked down and while the ravs are bubbling away, add the butter and some red wine to the mushrooms, onion and garlic. You can leave the butter out to make the sauce lighter. I was good all day, though, remember? So a little butter is okay.

When the ravs are cooked (they usually float to the top when they’re done) drain and divide them into bowls. Pour the sauce over.

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Sprinkle with some some parmesan cheese.

Mangia!

(Please excuse the lack of pictures in this post… we were too hungry to think straight!)