Fusilli Pasta with Basil Pesto & Sauteed Mushrooms

Looking for a quick, delicious and satisfying meal? Well, I have the perfect, beautiful meal- fusilli pasta with a creamy basil pesto and meaty sauteed cremini mushrooms….yum! A very satisfying vegetarian meal that hits the spot. And ready in no time.

I chose Italian fusilli pasta so the sauce can really coat the pasta. The shape, translated to mean spindle, allows the pesto to really cling to the pasta so you get that creaminess of the pesto in every bite. Add in the beautiful meaty mushrooms and you have an amazing satisfying meal.

These wonderful cremini mushrooms, also known as baby bellas, caught my eye at the farmers market. They are so fresh and delicious. Cremini mushrooms provide a ton of healthy benefits! They are rich in antioxidants, fiber and potasium. Cremini mushrooms are also anti-inflamatory and can potentially boost your immune system. So slice up those babies and off to the saute pan they go!

Basil Pesto

Cremini Mushrooms from the Farmers Market

Fusilli Pasta with Basil Pesto & Sauteed Mushrooms

Ingredients: Serves 4-6

1 pound Fusilli dry pasta

1 cup prepared basil pesto

2 tablespoons olive oil

16 ounces cremini mushrooms, stems removed and sliced

salt and pepper to season

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese and extra for serving

Saved cooked pasta water, about a cup to mix in with the pesto sauce

Pesto Sauce:

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

2 garlic cloves

2 cups washed, dried and packed basil leaves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preparation For Pesto:

In a small skillet toast the pine nuts just until fragrant, moving around in the pan as not to burn for about 2 minutes. Remove and set aside.

In a food processor or blender, pulse the basil, pine nuts, salt and pepper until finely chopped. With the food processor or blender running, gradually add enough of the olive oil to form a smooth consistency. Add in the grated parmesan cheese just until mixed through.

The pesto can last in the refrigerator for 2 days. Just cover tightly and refrigerate.

Pasta Fusilli with Mushrooms Preparation:

Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Once boiling, generously add salt to the water and add in the pasta. Give it a good stir every few minutes until cooked “al Dente”, about 8 minutes. Before draining, scoop out about 1 cup of the cooked pasta water and set aside. You will use this to help “marry” the pesto sauce to the pasta.

When you place the pot of water on the stove to bring it to a boil, at the same time, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, deep skillet. Once the oil is glistening (hot) add in the sliced mushrooms. Cook over medium high heat, stirring frequently. After about 3 minutes of cooking, season with salt and pepper. If the mushrooms are cooking too fast, meaning they seem like they are starting to burn, lower the heat accordingly. At this point, you can ladle in some of the pasta water and scrape up any bits from the pan. This will actually add in some more great flavor from the mushrooms.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add into the mushroom mixture and gently mix to combine with a large spoon. Turn your heat off. Start adding your pesto sauce in 3 tablespoons at a time. You don’t want the pasta too saucey, just enough to add great flavor. Add in about 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water and carefully mix through. This will add in great flavor from the pasta and thin the sauce out enough to beautifully coat your pasta.

Depending on how you like your sauce, you may add in more pasta water to create a thinner sauce.

Plate into pasta bowls and spkinkle on some more grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s