Pappardelle with Chicken, Mushrooms and Wine

This recipe was featured in one of my favorite cooking magazines called Cuisine at Home. The pictures seemed to show this recipe as warm, hearty and filling recipe for a chilly winter day. I made this to test with some friends and the results were just absolutely amazing. The chicken basically fell apart from the bone and the sauce had a rich aromatic flavor. I must have said this dish is just amazing about 100 times during dinner. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I think the only thing I would change is the type of pasta that goes with this dish, maybe use a linguine or angel hair pasta because this type of pasta shown seemed so heavy for me.

Pappardelle with Chicken, Mushrooms and Wine
Created recipe on 03/14/2010

Pappardelle with Chicken, Mushrooms and Wine

1 lb mushrooms, sliced
1 cup red wine (I used a Merlot)
½ cup all purpose flour
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cut up chicken with skin and bone
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces pancetta diced
1 medium red onion diced
½ lb fennel bulb, cut into strips
3 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves minced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 lb dry Pappardelle or any pasta

In 2 tablespoons butter
1 lb mushrooms sliced – I used butter and baby Portobello mushrooms

Sauté mushrooms in butter in a large ovenproof sauté pan over medium-high heat, stirring often. When mushrooms are soft, they will give off liquid, reduce the heat to medium and cook until the liquid evaporates.

½ cup of red wine – I used Merlot – increase the heat to high until most of the wine evaporates. Take mushrooms out of pan and put in a bowl – set aside. Wipe the pan clean and return to stove top. Dredge chicken in flour and pepper and shake off the excess. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 2 tablespoons of olive oil in pan and put the flour coated chicken and brown all sides over medium heat. Remove chicken from pan and put on plate. Set aside.

In the drippings from the chicken – add the pancetta – sauté until the pancetta begins to brown. Add the onion and fennel, cook until the onion becomes softened and the fennel becomes a light brown. Stir in garlic and cook for an additional 2 – 3 minutes more. Increase the heat to high and stir in the wine and sage. Remove from the heat and add the sautéed mushrooms.

Return the browned chicken back to the pan, cover and put in oven @ 325 degrees and cook for 45 min to an hour. Remove from the heat and add the balsamic vinegar. During the last 15 min of the chicken cooking prepare the pasta. Cook according to package directions and serve with chicken and mushroom sauce.


Chicken, Spinach, Mushroom Pasta Bake

This dish just sounded so appealing to me. I love casseroles but the fat content is always high in these types of dishes because the main ingredient is often a creamy sauce that is made from scratch or from a soup. I think I would take the Parmesan cheese over a creamy sauce any day. But, I learned something new for myself today. Parmesan cheese has a higher fat content than mozzarella cheese. I always thought it was the other way around. The house smelled like an Italian restaurant with the amount of garlic I put in the dish. Full of flavor and there were also some benefits of fiber from the whole wheat pasta, mushroom and spinach.

Chicken, Spinach, Mushroom Pasta Bake
Created recipe on 02/25/2010

Chicken, Spinach, Mushroom Pasta Bake 11 lb or one box of whole wheat pasta (use any shape you like)
4 oz of chicken tenderloin strips chopped in 1” cubes
1 box of frozen spinach thawed and all excess liquid squeezed
½ pint of mushrooms thickly sliced (I used button mushrooms)
8 -10 cloves of garlic minced fine
3 tablespoons of olive oil
½ cup of wine (I had a red wine available and used that)
1-1/2 cups of freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

Prepare the whole wheat pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain liquid and set aside.

Sauté the cubed chicken tenderloins for about 10 minutes until browned in olive oil over medium heat in a 10” skillet. Add the garlic and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes. The garlic will brown with the chicken. Stir constantly so the garlic does not burn. Note: If the garlic burns in the dish, it gives a bitter flavor to the whole thing and does not taste great. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook for an additional 5 minutes stirring constantly.  Add the spinach, wine and cook until the spinach is heated thoroughly and the wine is cooked off. Add 1 cup of grated Parmesan Cheese to the mixture, mix well. I used about 3/4 of the 1 lb pasta that I cooked. I felt that adding the whole 1 pound of pasta was too much. Mix the pasta in the filling.

In a casserole dish, even out the filling and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan Cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 15 to 20 minutes until dish is thoroughly heated and the cheese is melted.

Chicken, Spinach, Mushroom Pasta Bake 2I wasn’t satisfied with the color so I flash broiled the dish in the broiler for about 5 minutes to give the cheese the golden color I wanted.


Mushroom Frittata

I love Saturday mornings. I love the fact that I can make dishes and try out new things. Most of all I enjoy the ones I’ve already created. A mushroom frittata loaded with Parmesan cheese and mushrooms – what can I say! I love mushrooms, eggs, Parmesan cheese – need I say more? An excellent 5-ingredient combo that can be used for all meal times in the day – breakfast, lunch, brunch or a light dinner.

Mushroom Frittata
Created recipe on 02/11/2010

Mushroom Frittata_1

  • ½ pint of mushrooms – any kind you like – in this one I used ¼ baby portabellas and ¼ button mushrooms – wiped off and sliced. You can certainly add more mushrooms if you want.
  • 1 carton of Egg Beaters (I used this because I found that with Egg Beaters, the frittata is fluffier. Not only that, there is no cholesterol and fat in Egg Beaters and I can eat this at anytime and often.
  • ½ cup of freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 teaspoon fresh Thyme – removed from the stems and coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil

In a 10” sauté pan, heat up the olive oil over medium high heat and add the sliced mushrooms. Add about 1 teaspoon of salt and let the mushrooms cook until the desired consistency. I like my mushrooms cook thoroughly but still has a bite to it.

Add the carton of egg beaters to the mushroom mixture. Add the parmesan cheese and leave a little bit for a final sprinkling after taking the frittata out of the oven. Add the thyme and just lightly mix the cheese and thyme into the egg beaters. Try not to stir the mushrooms around; you will want to leave them on the bottom of the egg mixture. Cover the pan with lid for about 3 to 4 minutes. The eggs will cook. Remove from the heat and sprinkle the reserved Parmesan cheese and put in the broiler for about 2 to 3 minutes so the top is brown and the cheese is melted. Yum!

Mushroom Frittata_2

Remove the frittata from the broiler and slide the frittata onto a cutting board and slice half and then half again. Serve this with crusty whole grain bread and butter with a cup of freshly perked coffee or tea. I love Saturday mornings.

Mushroom Frittata_3


Zucchini Mushroom Stir Fry

I love stir fry vegetables. This recipe is very simple and easy to make and reminds me of a cool summer evening when the Zucchini has been freshly picked out of the garden, cleaned and sliced. I make this often because it is fast, simple, easy, and delicious. Sometimes I just eat a bowl of it without any pasta or rice and it is very filling for me. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Zucchini Mushroom Stir Fry
Created recipe on 02/04/2010

2 medium sized zucchini sliced diagonally about 1/8” to ¼” thick
1 pint button mushrooms cleaned and sliced (refer to Cooking Tip #4 for a how to on cleaning mushrooms)
2 garlic cloves chopped fine
1 medium onion sliced in half moon slices
2 teaspoons fresh thyme chopped
2 teaspoons fresh parsley chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat olive oil in a stir fry pan until medium hot not smoking. This stir fry is fast so make sure all the vegetables are cut and ready to add. Add onions and saute for about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute for an additional two minutes. Add the garlic and zucchini and saute for an additional five minutes or until the zucchini is cooked but still crisp to taste. Remove from heat and add thyme, salt and pepper and serve with rice or pasta. Feeds 4 people. Healthy Eating!

Zucchini Mushroom Stir Fry

Nutritional Notes

  • Zucchini helps to cure asthma as it contains Vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant, and has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Zucchini helps to prevent diseases, like scurvy, bruising etc, caused by the deficiency of Vitamin C.
  • Eating zucchini also helps to support the arrangement of capillaries
  • Zucchini also prevents the risk of having multiple sclerosis (MS).
  • Zucchinis have high water content (over 95%), so they make perfect food for people on diet.
  • Zucchini contains useful amounts of foliate, potassium, and vitamin A– necessities for a human body.


The Happy Meal aka Pam’s Vegetable Stir-Fry

Today is a snowy-cloudy-gloomy day here in Michigan and I was getting sick of making soup so I decided to do a quick stir-fry for dinner. The thoughts of cutting up and sautéing fresh green vegetables and adding left-over whole-grain penne pasta with freshly grated Parmesan cheese appealed to my mood thus creating the simply healthy version of “The Happy Meal”. Enjoy!

The Happy Meal aka Pam’s Vegetable Stir-Fry
Created recipe on 02/02/2010

1 pound of fresh thin stalked asparagus
½ bag of grated broccoli and carrot slaw
1 pint of button mushrooms cleaned and sliced
2 garlic cloves sliced
1 medium onion cut in half and sliced in half moons
2 to 3 handfuls of cooked Penne whole grain pasta (you can use any pasta or rice)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
Kosher salt and cracked pepper to taste
Fresh or dried parsley about 4 tablespoons
1 cup grated fresh Parmesan Cheese
You can add lemon zest but no one wanted that today

Stir Fry Vegetables in Wok

Clean and cut up all the fresh vegetables as the sautéing part will go very fast. Remember the pasta was already cooked; it was a left over from another meal. If you do not have pasta or rice cooked make sure you start that process first and have it ready for your meal.

In a wok or stir fry pan, heat up the olive oil in high heat, this will heat up very fast so you will need to be ready. Add the onion, sauté for 2 minutes, and then add rest of the vegetables. Saute the vegetables to the desired consistency. I happen to like my veggies crunchy with a burst of freshness, so I sauté the vegetables for approximately 5 to 10 minutes. Add the pasta as the final ingredient. Remove from heat and stir in ½ cup of the grated Parmesan cheese. Serve in individual bowls with sprinkled Parmesan cheese on top. Be happy!

The Happy Meal

Nutritional Notes:

  • High content of vitamin K
  • Naturally detoxifies the body

(For more information– check out the nutritional note #4)


Mushroom Barley Soup

This soup is one of my all-time favorites. I think that I do not make it enough and I should. It is hearty, loaded with fiber and warms you on a cold winter day. Adding mushrooms is another bonus. How could I possibly go wrong with a soup like this?

Mushroom Barley Soup
Created recipe on 01/22/2010

1 (8 oz) container of button mushrooms
1 (8 oz) container of Portobello mushrooms
1 medium onion chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
3 large carrots peeled and chopped into ½” cubes
3 stalks of celery with leaves in the center of the celery chopped
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
¾ cup of good red wine ( you can omit this but to my surprise I found that using the wine really makes the soup rich tasting, and I even added a little extra for the boost in flavor)
8 cups of broth (I used beef and mushroom broth in this recipe but I have made it using vegetarian broth. Either way the results are excellent!)
5-1/2 oz of barley quick cooking this is approx 1 to 1-1/2 cups of barley
2 corn on the cob – corn sliced off the cob or you can substitute 1 cup of frozen corn
1 cup of frozen lima beans
1 cup of frozen baby peas
2 teaspoons of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt and cracked fresh pepper to taste

Make the sofrito (see cooking tip #2 for picture) with the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the soup pot over medium heat. Cook for about 5 minutes to get the vegetables going and the flavors to marry. Add the cleaned sliced mushrooms (see cooking tip #4 for cleaning mushrooms) to the sofrito. Stir for about 2 minutes so that the mushrooms absorb the extra oil in the bottom of the pan so the soup does not have that oily look on the top when done cooking. Add the water and choice of bouillon, bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for about 45 minutes. Add the barley, corn, lima beans, peas, thyme and wine and cook for another 45 minutes. The soup will thicken and you may need to add more broth to reach the desired consistency of the soup you prefer.  Flavor with salt and pepper to your taste.  Note: when adding liquid you will need to taste the soup to make sure the seasonings do not need to be adjusted. For example: may need to add a splash of wine, or a ¼ teaspoon of bouillon. Serve with whole wheat croutons. See below for recipe. Enjoy!

Wheat Croutons
About 4 thick slices of crusty wheat or whole grain bread (I had bread I made in my bread machine left over frozen in the freezer. I thawed out the bread and used that for the croutons. I am hooked – I think I will do this from now on – I love it!)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of melted butter
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
2 teaspoons of fresh or dried parsley

Brush olive/butter mixture over sliced bread both sides and cut into 1-1/2” cubes. Spread single layer over a cookie sheet or stone and bake in 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes until the bread becomes hard and crunchy.  Cool to touch and put about 5 to 6 croutons on top of the soup. Yum!

Mushroom Barley Soup

Cooking Tip: The broth I made from a product called “Better than Bouillon”. I find that it has less sodium than some of the broths and / or cubes of bouillon out on the market and I only need to use a little bit of it because the flavor goes a long way. I prepared the broth per the manufacturer’s directions. For the soup – I just added the 8 cups of water to the prepared sofrito and then added 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons of beef and 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons of mushroom bouillon to the water.

Nutritional Tip: Barley has so many health benefits. It is a soluble fiber that may help prevent many health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and many gastrointestinal disorders like Internal Bowl Syndrome (IBS) and colon cancer.  The American Dietetic Association (ADA) suggests that adults should consume at least 20 to 30 grams of fiber a day and studies show that Americans consume only 50% of the required amount daily. 1/3 cup of barley consists of 0.5 grams of fat, 5 grams of dietary fiber, and only has 160 calories.


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