Oyster Mushroom Pasta

We’ve been on a bit of a pasta kick. This pasta comes together really quickly with minimal ingredients. It’s the perfect dish to follow a long day of work/school when energy and enthusiasm for cooking is far from our minds. The oyster mushrooms add meatiness to the dish, while the double-smoked cheddar cheese grated on top enhances the flavour.

3 cups dried pasta, preferably rotini
2 tablespoons olive oil
7 oz oyster mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups marinara sauce
1 teaspoon salt
Double-smoked cheddar cheese, grated
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

1. Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions.
2. Saute mushrooms and garlic in olive oil for 8 to 10 minutes.
3. Drain the pasta and return to pot. Add sauteed mushrooms and garlic, marinara sauce, salt and pepper. Stir and heat until thoroughly warmed through.
4. Top with double-smoked cheddar cheese and serve with garlic bread.

Fresh Basil and Macadamia Nut Pesto

With macadamia nuts instead of pine nuts you can add a tasty island twist to a traditional pesto pasta recipe.

3 cups fresh whole wheat pasta
1/2 cup unsalted, dry-roasted macadamia nuts
2 cups fresh basil leaves
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 bunch of asparagus
1/2 of a zucchini

1. Cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water. Drain the pasta when it’s done.
2. Wash the asparagus, snap off the ends and discard. Wash and thinly slice the zucchini. Top the vegetables with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill for 7 minutes, or broil for 10 minutes.
3. In the meantime, pulse the macadamia nuts in a food processor, then add garlic and basil and pulse a few times more. Slowly add the olive oil while the food processor is on. Scrape the sides of the food processor with the rubber spatula, add salt and pepper and pulse a few more times.
4. In a large bowl, mix pesto mixture and cooked pasta.
5. Cut up grilled asparagus and zucchini and add to the pasta.
6. Garnish with grape tomatoes and serve.

– DJ