Through much of 2020 people have been spending more time at home than ever before. With that has come an array of new hobbies incorporated in our daily lives.
Some of this has been in the realm of food, with people generally cooking more at home, learning new recipes, experimenting with different ingredients and even baking their own bread.
The sourdough bread making craze has become quite the craze. Also on the list has been a major increase in food preservation, such as jarring pickles, preserves, sauces, or fermented foods like Kimchi.
For years, farmers have been harnessing their annual crops in a preserved manner to be sold once their fresh crops are no longer available, fruit preserves being the most common.
This week, I encountered another form of food that had been dried in an effort to utilize a crop that will only be around for a little longer while in season: Beautiful sun dried tomatoes, produced from a mix of organic heirloom varieties from Munak Ranch of Paso Robles.
They are excellent when used in an array of pasta dishes, chicken simmered in parmesan cream sauce, quinoa salads or even scrambled eggs. This week I prepared a quick sun-dried tomato and mushroom pasta.
Sun-dried Tomato And Mushroom Pasta
3 ounces sun-dried tomatoes
6 ounces mushrooms (I used a mix of oyster mushrooms and shiitake mushroom, available at most weekly farmers markets)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/4 cup milk (I used whole)
8 ounces uncooked fettuccini or other comparable noodles
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (fresh is preferred)
Salt and pepper to taste
Freshly chopped parsley to garnish
Slice sun-dried tomatoes in half or quarters and set aside. In a large skillet, turn to high heat and add olive oil. Once hot, add the mushrooms and cook for 4-5 minutes until seared on all sides.
Remove mushrooms from the pan and set aside. In the same pan, add butter and garlic and cook at medium heat for about 2 minutes. Then mix in chicken broth, milk and pasta. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until pasta is almost cooked through, tossing occasionally. Then add sun dried tomatoes and Parmesan and toss in, cooking for about 1-2 more minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Finally, add the mushrooms. Serve warm, garnished with fresh parsley.
Yield: Serves 4.