Monday, May 17, 2010

Pasta with Mushrooms, Peppers, and Onions: My Favorite T-Shirt of Pasta Recipes

NOTE #1: Today at Serious Eats: Blue Cheese Portobello Mushroom Burgers. Simple, quick, delicious, and easy on the environment. I’m drooling a little just thinking about 'em.

NOTE #2: A quick update on CHG's technical problems: It looks like we have an Explorer issue to fix. Thanks for the responses, everybody! (P.S. If somebody has a screen capture of the expanding ad, it would rule.) But first...

I’m guessing you have a favorite t-shirt. Odds are you don’t wear it outside, because it’s not in the best shape. Maybe you’ve owned it a few years. Maybe it has a few holes around the collar. Maybe there’s an ugly fish on the front, and a big ol’ picture of Michael Bolton on the back.

You may not sport that shirt in public, but given the chance, you’d wear it and nothing else – not even underpants – for the rest of eternity.

(Incidentally, is there a funnier word than “underpants”? They’re pants you wear under other pants! Why do we need so many pants?)

My favorite tee is dark blue and at least a decade old. You can see my bra right through the fabric. It says “Schlumberger” across the left breast, which I long assumed was a cool German industrial band, like Kraftwerk or, uh … some other group like Kraftwerk. (Note: Nope.) I don’t wear it on the street anymore, because I don’t want to be arrested for scaring the children.

Despite all this, I will never, ever throw it out. I love it more than any other piece of clothing, with the possible exception of my wedding dress. And I only bought that because Ma would kill me if I got married in a Schlumberger t-shirt.

What do crappy-yet-beloved short-sleevers have to do with Pasta with Mushrooms, Peppers, and Onions? A lot, actually. You see, this recipe is the culinary equivalent of my favorite t-shirt. To be totally honest, I debated posting it, because it’s so easy that it’s barely a recipe.

Then, I thought of a few things:
  1. I’ve eaten this dish (or some slight variation) every week for years.
  2. It’s one of the first dishes I learned to prepare without a cookbook.
  3. It’s one of the first dishes I learned to prepare when I started eating healthier.
  4. It contains a ton of vegetables, but still feels indulgent.
  5. It sates my pasta cravings without going overboard on calories.
  6. It’s one of Husband-Elect’s favorite meals, and he requests it fairly often. (Note: He’s making it himself as I type this on Sunday night.)
  7. It can be doubled, tripled, or octupled with little extra effort.
  8. The leftovers rock my face.
Still, I’m a little embarrassed at the simplicity here. But if this dish makes you as happy as it makes me … well, then it’s worth it, Schlumberger and all.

What about you, sweet readers? Do you have favorite recipes you’re almost embarrassed to share? What about t-shirts? Or both? Do tell.

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If you like this recipe, you might also become quite fond of:
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Pasta with Mushrooms, Peppers, and Onions
Serves 3


8 to 10 ounces medium-sized pasta (rotini, penne, etc.)
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces button mushrooms, cut into quarters
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces
3/4 medium onion, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 to 1-1/2 cups prepared pasta sauce
1/4 to 1/2 cup grated parmesan
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1) Bring a medium pot full of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain.

2) Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium high. Add mushrooms, peppers, and onions. Saute 8 to 12 minutes, until mushrooms are cooked through, onions are soft, and peppers are crisp-tender. Salt and pepper to taste.

3) Add pasta to skillet. Stir thoroughly to combine. Heat through if necessary. Add pasta sauce. Stir to combine. Kill heat. Salt and pepper to taste.

4) Spoon into bowls. Add a healthy helping of parmesan to each. Delight in the easiest thing you’ve ever made.

Approximate Calories, Fat, Fiber, Protein, and Price Per Serving
492 calories, 9.2 g fat, 5 g fiber, 19.9 g protein, $1.52

Calculations
NOTE: For range measurements (8 to 10 ounces, 1/4 to 1/2 cup, etc.) I used the average of the high and low numbers (9 ounces, 6 tablespoons, etc.).
8 to 10 ounces medium-sized pasta: 947 calories, 3.8 g fat, 8.2 g fiber, 33.3 g fiber, $0.56
1/2 tablespoon olive oil: 59 calories, 6.7 g fat, 0 g fiber, 0 g protein, $0.06
8 ounces button mushrooms: 50 calories, 0.7 g fat, 2.3 g fiber, 7 g protein, $0.99
1 medium green bell pepper: 24 calories, 0.2 g fat, 2 g fiber, 1 g protein, $0.87
3/4 medium onion: 35 calories, 0.1 g fat, 1.2 g fiber, 0.8 g protein, $0.19
1 to 1-1/2 cups prepared pasta sauce: 231 calories, 7.5 g fat, 1.3 fiber, 6.1 g protein, $0.83
1/4 to 1/2 cup grated parmesan: 129 calories, 8.6 g fat, 0 g fiber, 11.5 g protein, $1.05
Kosher salt: negligible calories, fat, fiber, and protein, $0.01
Freshly ground black pepper: negligible calories, fat, fiber, and protein, $0.01
TOTAL: 1475 calories, 27.6 g fat, 15 g fiber, 59.7 g protein, $4.57
PER SERVING (TOTAL/3): 492 calories, 9.2 g fat, 5 g fiber, 19.9 g protein, $1.52

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9 comments:

Lisa B said...

Hi Kris- no recipe info to share, but if you need a screen shot of the evil ad that hogs screen space, I'm happy to oblige. How can I send it to you? I'm using IE 8.

Kris said...

Thank you, Lisa B! I'm at:

cheaphealthygood@gmail.com

It's totally appreciated.

Christine said...

I got a screen shot, but I see you already have one...?

Ruby Leigh said...

umm... yum that looks good! Also, I have a favorite recipe that I eat weekly or more - It's here: http://fivedollardayblog.blogspot.com/2010/05/day-29-evolution-of-the-cheesarito.html. It's so simple it's almost a sin to call it a "recipe"

Kris said...

@Christine: I have it, but thank you! I'll edit the piece to reflect that.

@Ruby Leigh: Thank you for the link! I will eat that cheesearito, and I will like it.

Sara said...

Sadly, I don't like mushrooms. Or bell peppers. I hate bell peppers with the fire of a thousand suns - to me, they have the worst texture and flavor and render many dishes inedible.

I may get over the mushroom thing eventually - but never the bell peppers.

Dee Seiffer said...

I am with you on the favorite, easy, eat-it-every-week recipe. Instead of jar sauce, I throw in a can of diced tomatoes and a can of cannelloni beans. A few red pepper flakes wakes things up a tad, too. Yum!

Anonymous said...

HA! I used to have a shirt just like that. my dad used to work for Schlumberger. I did like it too.

Mattheous @ Menu Musings said...

I think my favorite t-shirt would have to be my Neil Young & Crazy Horse 2008 Tour t-shirt (at least, I think it was 2008...?). I got it when my father took me to see Greendale in Hershey, PA.

As for easy recipes...well, it's not really a recipe, but it is easy (and one of my favorite breakfasts): chicken livers on toast.