Monday, August 15, 2011

Weekly Recipe: Mushroom Fusili with Toasted Breadcrumbs

Did I have you with 'toasted breadcrumbs?'  That's pretty much all it took for me when I saw this dish in the most recent Rachael Ray magazine.  Well that and it was in the section where she gives you a grocery list and the recipes included in that section use up all of the ingredients on the list.  Perfect for a frugal-buys-only-what's-going-to-be-used-that-week kind of girl.  I love ricotta cheese but I hate that most of my recipes don't use the entire container.  Let me tell you, organic ricotta is too expensive to waste!

This recipe turned out to be really simple and quite tasty.  I loved how the ricotta just melted into the hot noodles and the toasted breadcrumbs, while yielding way too much, provided quite a tasty little crunch on the top.  You could easily play with the veggie combinations and even add some chicken or shrimp to the mix if you wanted to add some extra protein.

I served this alongside a grilled romaine salad.  Yum and yum!

Mushroom Fusilli with Garlic Breadcrumbs
adapted from Rachael Ray magazine, August 2011

1 box fusili pasta
½ container ricotta cheese
2 T. evoo
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/3 cup chopped basil
Salt and pepper
1 pkg. mushrooms, sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut into ½-inch squares
3/4 cup heavy cream

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente; drain, reserving ½ cup of the pasta cooking water.  Return the pasta to the pot and stir in the ricotta, adding the reserved cooking water to thin the consistency as desired.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 T. evoo over med-high heat; add the breadcrumbs and cook, stirring often, until golden-brown, about 3 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.  Remove from the heat and stir in half of the basil; season with salt and pepper.  Transfer to a bowl and wipe out the skillet.
In the same skillet, heat the remaining 1 T. evoo over medium-high heat.  Add the mushrooms and cook, undisturbed for the first few minutes, until they have released all their liquid and are golden, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes, then stir in the cream.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
Toss the pasta mixture with the mushroom cream sauce; stir in the remaining basil.  Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs before serving.


  1. Oh this sounds great! And I can totally agree with you on the ricotta. I always end up throwing half of the container away because I never find a recipe that uses it all!

  2. I tore this recipe out of the magazine!!!! This makes me smile!