dairy-free · food · gluten free · healthy living · recipes · what's for dinner?

creamy mushroom and spinach pasta

Do you ever just stare into the fridge, waiting for dinner inspiration to magically hit?

I like a good meal plan, but the reality is I often fall short of implementing one to its fullest potential.  Sometimes the day has a shift in plans, or I forget to take my meat from the freezer.  

Case in point:  on this particular day, I didn’t plan ahead and I was at a loss come four o’clock.  I needed something quick and easy, and of course delicious.

A scan of the produce in my fridge told me the big container of mini bellas from Costco could help me out.  Likewise for the baby spinach and the awesome double package of goat cheese.  Throw in some garlic and we have a medley that can’t go wrong. 

Now, my dairy-free girl doesn’t love noodles and I often try to avoid too much bread and pasta. So this recipe was served three ways: creamy pasta, creamy on spaghetti squash and dairy-free over spaghetti squash.

When I’m feeling super-on-the-ball and I’ve roasted a bunch of veggies ahead, I’ll have some spaghetti squash ready to go for a pseudo pasta dish or as a side, tossed with butter and herbs. I love it when that happens. Why don’t I remember to do it more often?

I’ve tried cooking my squash a few different ways:

Oven Method (my go-to)

  • split lengthwise
  • scoop out seeds
  • place cut-side down on a baking sheet (I use parchment for easier cleanup)
  • bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour until tender (easily pierced with a fork)
  • scrape out the flesh with a fork to break apart the ‘spaghetti’ strands

You can also cook it in the oven whole to avoid having to cut raw squash– which, admittedly, is a bit of a pain. It will take another half hour or so, depending on the size. Follow the procedure in the crockpot method for dealing with your cooked squash. I do like this method in one way, however, dealing with seeds when it’s cooked and hot is more difficult.

Crockpot

  • wash the outside of the squash
  • pierce the skin a few times with a paring knife
  • place it whole into your crockpot (some people add a little water, I do not)
  • cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6 (time will vary somewhat with size and whether you’re cooking more than one) until tender (easily pierced with a fork)
  • carefully remove from the crockpot…it will be hot and flimsy
  • cut ends off and split in half when the outside of the squash is cool enough to handle
  • scoop out seeds
  • scrape out the flesh with a fork to break apart the ‘spaghetti’ strands

You can also cook it whole (see prep for crockpot) on the stovetop in a large pot of boiling water. Cook at a medium boil for 20 to 30 minutes (again, time will vary depending on the size of the squash). Proceed as for crockpot method.

I don’t own a microwave, but I’m sure there is a method for that, too.

Now onto our main event.

Creamy Mushroom, Spinach and Goat Cheese Pasta

Sauté just until fragrant:

  • 1 small onion
  • 5 cloves of garlic (use less if you don’t love garlic, but it’s sooo good)

Add:

  • 12 mini Bella mushrooms, sliced (about 8 oz)
  • cook until nicely browned

Season with:

  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp each basil and oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

Toss in:

  • three generous handfuls of baby spinach (roughly chop if not baby spinach)

It seems like a lot, but it will reduce quite a bit. Cook until spinach is wilted.

At this point, I remove my df girl’s portion. Hers is served on spaghetti squash, drizzled with a little olive oil. You could continue on with the recipe, substituting a dairy-free cream cheese, like Daiya, instead of the goat cheese as an alternative option.

Next comes the saucy part.

Add:

  • 1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled (you could add a dairy-free cream cheese, like Daiya, instead)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup chicken stock (add a little at a time until your sauce is the desired sauciness)

Cook until cheese is melted and sauce is thickened, adding more stock if necessary.

Serve over prepared spaghetti squash or pasta.

I apologize…I don’t have an exact amount because two of us ate it with squash, my love ate it with pasta and my cl boy just had noodles with butter and cheese.

This is my life in the kitchen. Always trying to provide options for all of the dietary needs and preferences. How about you? Do you just cook and make them take it or leave it as I used to with all the kids at home? Or do you take pity when you can?

Finding inspiration over here:
Home Matters at Life with Lorelai
Friendship Friday at Create with Joy

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5 thoughts on “creamy mushroom and spinach pasta

  1. I am bookmarking this page. That pasta looks seriously yummy, either with the goat cheese or without and with pasta or spaghetti squash. I will have to try several combinations to see which I like best! Maybe even with zucchini noodles!

    Like

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