Warm Pasta Salad with Red Wine Braised Mushrooms, Arugula, and Parmesan Cheese
Main Course, Salad
1 lb. cooked pasta, rinsed with tepid water and lightly tossed with olive oil
2 lbs. fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 large cloves garlic, minced
½ cup dry red wine
3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. fresh thyme, finely chopped
½ cup parsley, chopped
4 cups freshly washed arugula *
½ cup green onions, thinly sliced, thinly sliced
1 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
Large pinch salt plus black pepper, to taste
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
STEP 1:Prepare mushrooms: Heat the olive oil and butter in a large non-stick pan over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms, a large pinch of salt and a few grindings of pepper. Cook the mushrooms, stirring occasionally until they have lost their liquid and they are nicely browned. This can take up to 20 minutes, depending on the water content of the mushrooms. Add the garlic, cook another minute or two, then add the red wine and balsamic vinegar. Reduce liquid till it is nearly dry. Set mushrooms aside in a large serving bowl; cover bowl with foil to keep mushrooms warm. Add the thyme and the parsley to the mushrooms. Add salt and pepper, if needed.
STEP 2:Make dressing: place all dressing ingredients into a blender pitcher. Blend until emulsified.
STEP 3:Put salad together just before serving: add the slightly warm, cooked pasta to the serving bowl with the warm mushrooms. Add half the shaved Parmesan cheese to the bowl and gently stir together. Next, add the fresh arugula and the green onions. Warm the vinaigrette in a microwave for a few seconds, then pour about half of it over the entire salad. Use large serving spoons to toss all the ingredients until they are evenly coated with the vinaigrette. Use more vinaigrette if needed. Top salad with remaining shaved Parmesan cheese and serve warm or at room temperature.** This salad can also be individually plated. Makes 8-10 servings.
*Even if you buy pre-washed arugula, for this recipe it’s particularly tasty if the arugula still has a bit of “crunch”. Soaking it in iced water and then spinning it dry is a great extra step to do **Salad can be made a few days ahead of time. Keep the mushrooms, pasta, cheese, vinaigrette and arugula separate, allow them to warm to room temperature and toss together just before serving.