Mushroom Lentil Spaghetti “Bolognese”

Mushroom Lentil Spaghetti “Bolognese”

Have you seen those lists of the new 2017 trends? You know, the ones that go around the internet this time of year predicting everything from the popularity of coconut oil to the color of pale pink we’ll all be wearing in the spring? One that caught my attention lately is that “they” are saying that staying in is the new going out. And I’m totally on board with that one. If you’ve had a busy holiday season how good does this sound: Stretchy pants, pasta, wine and and a nice dinner by the fire with twinkly Christmas tree lights in the background?

Ok, just kidding. We don’t have a fireplace and we haven’t even put up the Christmas tree because if you remember last year it was FEBRUARY before we got around to taking the thing down. But festivity aside, let’s make pasta, shall we?

Mushroom Lentil Spaghetti “Bolognese”

I’m calling this a “Bolognese” although I realize that Italian grandmothers are shaking their heads right about now. A traditional bolognese has meat and other very specific ingredients. So while this is not exactly authentic, this pasta includes a delicious hearty mix of mushrooms and lentils that get all stewy with onions, carrots, tomatoes, and rosemary among other savory ingredients.

Mushroom Lentil Spaghetti “Bolognese”

Hidden in this recipe are some unconventional ingredients. I find that balsamic vinegar and soy sauce brings out a rich flavor in the mushrooms. Sage (to me) has a sausage-like scent, so I used a bit of dried sage to bring a depth of flavor to the sauce. In addition to the lentils, I also added some finely crushed walnuts that you won’t detect but they add some richness to this no-meat situation.

I used canned tomatoes as the base of the sauce and tossed in some sliced fresh tomatoes near the end for no other reason except that I find brown foods exceptionally challenging to photograph 🙂

Mushroom Lentil Spaghetti “Bolognese” Mushroom Lentil Spaghetti “Bolognese”

Aside from that whole not having a Christmas tree thing – Christmas came early because I got the chance to cook with KitchenAid’s new Stainless Steel Cookware set. The polished stainless steel is so fancy! The 12-inch skillet cooked my stewy sauce perfectly and these pieces were a breeze to clean. Plus, how pretty is this large pot (and Jack’s action-pasta drop shot!):

Mushroom Lentil Spaghetti “Bolognese”

Cook your pasta until al dente, toss it with the sauce and serve it with steamed green veggies if you like!

Mushroom Lentil Spaghetti “Bolognese”

Basil White Bean Puree

This is one of those things that we’ve been eating a lot lately and not writing about because it just seemed too simple for one whole post. But I get really excited when one recipe becomes a 2-fer, so I wanted to share…

It started with the leftover basil-parsley dressing from this salad (about 1/4 cup)… tossed in the food processer with a can of white beans. I adjust just a few seasonings (salt, pepper, squeeze of lemon) and served it as crostini. I reserved just a bit of the original vinaigrette and drizzled it on top with some red pepper flakes. This would also be a great veggie dip or sandwich spread.

This week on the internet (the food internet, at least), toasts seemed to be all the rage. Here are some of my favorites – maybe for a quick lunch or an easy happy hour treat…

I ate a version of this for lunch the other day:
Spring pea mash on whole wheat toasts from Good Things Grow

Whose not craving avocado these days:
Avocado toasts from Cookie and Kate

I’ve never tried shaved asparagus, but I’m gonna now:
Shaved asparagus and goat cheese crostini from Naturally Ella

I have morels on the mind from a dish we ate at Uchiko last weekend, however this recipe, I’d actually be able to make myself:
Morel Crostini from Waverly via Food52 

I heart raisin bread, but this kicks it up a notch (or three):
Bread, Jam & Triple Creme from Camille Styles