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Comfort In A Bowl Of Wild Mushroom Pasta With Garlic and Parsley.

Wild Mushrooms

Comfort food is not only for cold winter nights or rainy autumn days. There is comfort in summer bright tomatoes, juicy ripe peaches and cooking to warm up your heart or ground you in that okay place. I’ve meaning to update this blog in the last few weeks but didn’t have the heart to. We, my husband, his family and mine were battling a fight we could not win. My father in law, my father number 2 and my husband’s best friend and band mate of 30+ years passed away from complications of cancer. He fought with dignity up until the very last moments. When I tell people he was 93 years old, the response is "wow, he had a great life!". Yes, he did. He was lucky to meet his life partner 73 years ago and be married for 71 years. Yes, he did so many wonderful things with and for his family. Yes. No, it doesn’t diminish the void we all feel. While we rejoiced we were lucky to have him this long, we wished for more. As we, humans, usually do.


Wild Mushroom Pasta

I went back to Charleston to be there for my family. I cooked meals, listened to stories. I have been in this dreadful place before and I could anticipate reactions and emotions and offer a listening heart and a warm hand. I got back to Birmingham while my husband stayed in Charleston for a little while longer. It’s me and one of the dogs. My days are busy at work with long days of really fun shoots (working on the new Ball canning book right now is pure joy) but evenings can feel a little long at times. Especially toward the end of the week when all the week’s pressure and work start to take a toll on my mind and body. Thursdays have started to become my comfort food days.



Slow baked salmon on top of pasta with lots of pesto and tomatoes, roasted veggies to go on top of a farro salad, bright vibrant greens with grilled shrimp, lots of lemon and pepper. And garlic. Always a ton of garlic. That’s true comfort to me.

Before I left for Charleston, I had purchased at the farmers market a load of wild mushrooms that I sauteed with garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Shitakes, chanterelles, lion’s mane, golden and grey oyster mushrooms. Unsure of timing with the family, I froze my concoction for a later meal. I already had it it my head to preserve the integrity of the mushrooms by adding them, as they were now, to a simple dish of pasta with more garlic and lots of parsley. Something that always reminds me of home, simple days, shared meals and comforting food.


Wild Mushrooms Pasta

Here it is, one of my favorite meals, to eat alone or share (always better) when things don’t seem all that great. It will make you sit down and reminisce, bringing a flow of memories you did not expect but will most certainly welcome and indulge. I know I will tonight.

Wild Mushrooms Pasta:

Serves 4 

1 pound assorted wild mushrooms (cleaned and trimmed)

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1/2 pound dried linguine (I used gf pasta but any kind works)

4-5 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup white wine (or vegetable stock)

1 large handful freshly chopped flat leaf parsley

salt and pepper to taste

parmesan (optional)

At the same time, prepare the mushrooms. In a large skillet set over medium high heat, add the olive oil and when it is hot, add the mushrooms. Sautee for a couple of minutes and then cover with a lid. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, covered, for five minutes. Add the garlic ad wine (or broth) and cook, uncovered for a couple of minutes longer. Remove from the heat and set aside. 

Prepare the pasta according to package directions. Drain.

Add the pasta to the skillet, toss with the mushrooms, remaining one tablespoon of olive oil and the parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with some grated parmesan if desired. 

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Anonymous July 24, 2015 um 1:17 am

I love the simplicity and can't wait to try this out.

Sylvie @ Roamingtaste July 24, 2015 um 9:32 am

Mushroom and pasta are on of those incredible combinations and this looks so hearty and delicious. Have a great weekend.

Alexandra July 24, 2015 um 11:48 am

So sorry for your loss, Helene 🙁

Marilyn July 24, 2015 um 12:46 pm

Helené, I'm so sorry to hear about your father-in-law. My heart goes out to you and your husband and the rest of his family as you find your way with the void.

Lauren July 24, 2015 um 1:05 pm

I'm sorry for your loss Helene.
This dish is gorgeous, I LOVE mushrooms! Simply lovely ingredients for lovely food.

Katherines Corner July 24, 2015 um 1:21 pm

I am deeply sorry for your loss. I hope that in time fond memories will replace your sadness. Hugs!

Sarah July 24, 2015 um 2:01 pm

Beautiful work, as always Helen! I'm so sorry for your loss. You and your sweet family are in my prayers. July 25, 2015 um 4:46 am

Beautiful, Helene. And delicious looking!

Juls July 25, 2015 um 2:10 pm

I am sorry for your loss Helene. I would share a bowl of pappa al pomodoro with you, my favourite summer comfort food from Tuscany.

Home July 26, 2015 um 8:24 am

Thank for sharing. Sounds delicious

[email protected] July 30, 2015 um 9:59 pm

This pasta looks so delicious and comforting, and we’re glad to know this dish comes out wonderfully with GF pasta. Definitely making a big pot of this soon!

cupcake recipes August 4, 2015 um 3:05 pm

I'm sorry for your loss, great hug Helene

Heather August 5, 2015 um 3:03 pm

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. Sounds like a special man. Thank you for sharing this recipe. We'll send your family some happy thoughts when we prepare it.

El August 8, 2015 um 3:53 am

I'm so sorry to hear about your father-in-law. How upsetting. I'm glad to hear you have a wonderful family and that you were able to visit and spend time with them. Also glad to hear your photography career is going well and providing some comfort. Your new portfolio is beautiful!

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