Do you remember the Book-It program? It’s Pizza Hut‘s program for rewarding kids for reading. I crushed Book-It. I mean, in first grade, I had piles of those free Personal Pan pizza coupons stacked up at home. About once a month, mom would take me to the neighborhood Pizza Hut to collect my prize. You were only allowed one topping. One.
Here kids, here’s a whole bag of Skittles, now let’s just eat one. Say what?
Early on I narrowed in on my choice and never once deviated. At age six — through elementary school — it was a plain mushroom pizza for me. I love those little squishy, cheesy bites of fungi! Three nights ago I ordered pizza for dinner — mushrooms only. It’s really the best option. Even my homemade pizzas are piled high with thick slices of mushrooms, and the salami, bell peppers, and basil are just there for decoration.
This, however, is not about pizza. It is a lot about how I’ve found one more place to enjoy three of my favorite things — mushrooms, cheese, carbs. Pile ’em up, baby!
This new pasta recipe came about how a lot of my recipes do. My little family was hungry, as they are wont to do around dinner time. I was scraping the bottom of the fridge at the end of the week and fashioned together a respectable meal with what we had. Fortunately for us that included cavatappi pasta, garlic, onion, fresh basil, and Parmesan cheese. And mushrooms.
Have you had cavatappi? It’s the tight little spiral-curly noodles and when cooked just right they have the most incredible texture. Noodles are the queen of mouthfeel anyway, but these take top prize.
The mushrooms were sauteed in just a little butter with garlic and onions, then tossed with the hot pasta. This is finished with freshly grated Parmesan and basil. That’s it!
Forget 30 minute meals — this is a 20 minute meal that will leave everyone impressed!
Garlicky Mushroom Cavatappi Pasta
8 oz. baby bella mushrooms
2 cups cavatappi pasta (spiral/curly noodles)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 small yellow onion, chopped small
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup Parmesan, shredded
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1. Put the pasta on to boil per package instructions; cook until it reaches the tender al dente stage. Strain and set aside.
2. Set a skillet to med-high heat to warm. Cut thick slices of the mushrooms. Add the butter to melt, and then add the mushrooms. Let them saute for about 5 minutes until they start to soften.
3. Add the garlic and onions to the mushrooms and let it continue to cook for 3-5 minutes.
4. Add the cooked pasta. When well combined, add the Parmesan and basil. Give a gentle stir, serve, and enjoy.
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Recipe by Brandi Koskie; photos by Kacy Meinecke