Whole-Wheat Orzo with Mushrooms and Baby Spinach
1/2 cup dried mushrooms (I used an assortment from Costco)
3/4 cup hot water (just off a boil)
1 1/2 cups fresh mushrooms (I used oyster, button and crimini)
2 cups whole wheat orzo or other pasta
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups baby spinach
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
freshly-grated Parmesan for garnish
Place dried mushrooms in a bowl, add 3/4 cup water, cover bowl and soak mushrooms for 15-20 minutes. Remove re-hydrated mushrooms and set aside, saving the water to add to sauce. Meanwhile, clean the fresh mushrooms and slice. Cook pasta according to package directions. Put olive oil in a large skillet and heat over medium heat until hot. Add all the mushrooms and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms soften and brown, about 8-10 minutes. Add shallots and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes until softened. Add the water from the mushrooms and the spinach and cook another couple of minutes, until spinach is wilted. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Drain pasta and add it and the basil to the mushroom-spinach mixture, tossing to mix well. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if needed. Place in a pasta bowl and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan. Enjoy!
Notes/Results: Healthy, earthy and delicious. The mushroom water gives the pasta a lot of flavor with no additional fat or oil. The whole wheat orzo has a great texture and gives you about 4g of dietary fiber which is double that of regular orzo. With the all of the vitamins and minerals in the spinach and mushrooms it makes for a great tasting pasta dinner that is really good for you.