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Meaty Meatless Monday Pasta

On Meatless Mondays, pasta is the ultimate meat-free meal; it’s quick to make, filling and practically guaranteed to please even my most demanding family meat lovers. This pasta incorporates fresh seasonal vegetables and hearty mushrooms.

This pasta dish is unusual, becasue most of the corn flavor comes from the pasta.  The pasta is boiled in water with the shucked cobs, and then drained. This water is used to form the base of the sauce. To cook the other vegetables, start by sauteing the mushrooms until they’re golden brown and tender, then slowly wilting kale with garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Before serving, stir in chopped scallions and a pat of butter for richness; mix in the noodles and the reserved pasta water to create a simple yet hearty summer pasta dinner.

Ingredients:

6 ears of organic corn
Kosher salt
1 pound gluten free fusilli pasta (Andean Dream)
5 T. extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 pounds assorted mushrooms (such as shiitake and cremini), trimmed and sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 bunches organic Tuscan kale, stems removed, leaves cut into strips
2 bunches scallions (white and light green parts), chopped
4 T grass-fed unsalted butter, cubed
Freshly ground pepper

Directions:

Cut the corn kernels off the cobs and transfer to a bowl, then scrape the cobs with the back of a knife over the bowl to extract the liquid; set aside. Put the corncobs in a large pot and fill with water; season with salt. Cover and bring to a boil, then add the pasta and cook as the label directs; reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain. Discard the cobs.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a  heavy-bottomed pot over high heat. Add half of the mushrooms in a single layer and cook, undisturbed, until golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Season with salt, stir and continue cooking until tender, about 5 more minutes; transfer to a large bowl. Add another 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pot and repeat with the remaining mushrooms. Transfer to the bowl.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, the garlic and pepper flakes to the pot; cook, stirring, until the garlic is soft, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the kale and season with salt. Cover and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the corn kernels, mushrooms, scallions and butter. Cook, stirring, until the butter is melted and the mixture is heated through, about 2 minutes. Add the pasta and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water; cook, stirring, until heated through, 1 to 2 more minutes, adding more cooking water as needed to loosen the sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

 

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