CREAMY MUSHROOM PASTA
Penne - 6 to 8 ounces, cooked acc. to package directions in plenty of boiling water
Mushroom (Button or baby bella) - 8 oz, sliced
Onion - 1 small, sliced thin into 1 inch pieces
Garlic - 3 to 4 cloves, chopped or crushed
Red Bell Pepper - half of a medium one, chopped
Roma Tomato - half of a small one, chopped (optional)
Light Cream cheese - 4 oz, softened
Cream - 3 tbsp
Olive oil + Butter - 1 tbsp
Red chilli flakes - 1 tsp
Basil and chives - 1 tsp each, chopped ( I used fresh)
Parmesan cheese - about 2 to 3 tbsp
Salt and pepper to taste.
1) Drain cooked pasta and reserve about 1 cup of the cooking liquid - which will help thicken our sauce, if too dry.
2) Heat the olive oil and butter combination in a pan and toss in the garlic, onions and once they brown slightly, toss in the red pepper and allow to soften with the red chilli flakes.
3) Next add the mushroom slices and a pinch of salt so the mushrooms soften and cook down till almost dry. Add the chopped tomato and saute till heated through with salt to taste.
4) Mix the softened cream cheese with a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid to make a smooth paste and add this to the vegetable mixture along with the cream and cooked pasta.
5) Season with pepper to taste... allow this to simmer for a few minutes until the sauce is thick enough to coat the pasta.
6) Finally stir in the parmesan cheese along with the fresh herbs and serve.