Creamy Orzo with Roasted Tomatoes, Leeks, Shiitake Mushrooms and Herbs
1 pound orzo
8 ounces Mascarpone cheese
2 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
3 ounces roasted tomatoes, oil packed (you can substitute sun dried tomatoes if necessary)
2 medium Leeks, thinly sliced (sliced lengthwise then finely sliced crosswise)
8 ounces Shiitake mushrooms
2 tablespoons cream sherry, optional
6 tablespoons olive oil for sauteing
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil for drizzling over pasta
1 medium banana pepper, sliced into fine rings - optional
2 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, creamy if available
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 Prepare the veggies: Cut the leeks in half lengthwise and then finely slice crosswise. Thinly slice the mushrooms. Set aside
2 Make the sauce: Heat 1/3 of the olive oil to a saute pan over medium heat. Smash the garlic with the side of a chef's knife then finely chop. Drain the roasted tomatoes and dice to about 1/2 inch squares. Finely slice the pepper. Add garlic, tomatoes, and peppers to the saute pan. Saute over until the garlic is fragrant and the peppers are soft. About 5 minutes. Add the Mascarpone cheese, Gorgonzola, honey and rosemary. Stir over low heat until all the cheese is incorporated. Set aside.
3 Cook the pasta: Cook the pasta in 4 to 6 quarts of salted boiling water until al dente. See manufacturer's cooking time, but taste frequently for doneness. Do not over cook.
4 Saute the mushrooms and leeks: Heat 1/3 of the olive oil and the butter in a large frying pan. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms. Spread them in the pan and do not disturb until they are caramelized. Turn once and centralize the mushrooms on the other side. When nearly done, add about two tablespoons of cream sherry. When the sherry evaporates, remove the mushrooms and set aside. In the same frying pan, add the remainder of the olive oil. When the oil is hot, fry the leeks until they are somewhat crisp. Set aside.
5 Assemble the dish: Drain the pasta. Add the sauce to the pasta cooking pot and then the drained pasta. Stir to incorporate well over low heat. Place coated pasta on a large serving plate. Top with the fried mushrooms and leeks. Drizzle with a tablespoon or so of extra virgin olive oil. Serve immediately!
Serving size: 1/8 of a recipe (9 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.
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