Penne in creamy spinach mushroom sauce, the inspiration for this one comes from one of my favourite vegetarian dishes at Big Chill Cafe, the mushroom and spinach lasagna! The combined flavour of these veggie ingredients in a creamy sauce is just the treat your taste buds need and it also gives you a perfect balance between the healthy spinach and the not-so-healthy creamy bechamel sauce :), I made it with penne instead of lasagna but this sauce can easily go into any pasta type!!
Recipe 56: Penne in creamy spinach mushroom sauce
Recipe credits: Author of the blog
What you need:
1.5 cups of penne pasta, 1 tbsp vegetable oil, 3 heaped tsp of chopped onions and 2 heaped tsp of crushed garlic, 1/2 cup mushrooms chopped and boiled (if you want an enhanced flavour, do not throw away the mushroom stock), 2 tsp each of freshly chopped parsley and basil, salt and pepper to taste, 2 heaped cups of freshly chopped spinach.
For white sauce: 2 tbsp butter, 2 tbsp flour, 1.5 cups milk
For 1 cup of bechamel sauce: white sauce + cheddar cheese flakes (2-3 tsp) + salt + pepper + ¼ cup fresh cream
How to make it creamy:
1. Boil the pasta. If using whole wheat penne (like I did), keep in mind that it will take almost double the time to boil as compared to regular pasta.
2. In a pan, pour 1 vegetable oil and heat on high flame.
3. Add onions and garlic and stir for a minute on low flame.
4. Add mushrooms and stir for another 2-3 minutes.
5. Add the freshly chopped parsley and basil, sea salt/ regular salt and pepper and stir for few seconds.
6. Pour in 1 tbsp/cap of red wine (optional).
7. Add spinach and 1 tsp salt and increase the flame to medium.
8. Add bechamel sauce and some water/ mushroom stock for consistency and mix well.
9. Add the boiled pasta and toss well to ensure that the sauce is spread evenly.
10. Add cream or water/mushroom stock if required. Shut flame.
Time spent in Kitchen: 1 hour (including time taken to boil pasta)
Price range of the total cost of all ingredients: INR 200-300 (serves 2-3)