This “only eat organic, antibiotic-free sustainable meat” thing is going to get me into some serious budgetary hot water. I can tell you that right now. I am not sure when the tipping point came, but it has been reached and I have tumbled over the edge. Here is an example. This morning, Mark and I went out to the farmer’s market and then decided to eat breakfast. Old me: Steak bagel at McDonald’s. But just where exactly does that “steak” come from? Oh, dear. New me: Let’s go to Marcia’s, a locally owned bakery and cafe and get the croque monsieur, which is really just a jacked up ham sandwich but a darn tasty one. Price of steak bagel: $2.50. Price of croque monsieur: $9. You get my drift. But the croque monsieur did come with some tasty breakfast potatoes. And I felt good eating it. Really good.
So this is a long and very digressive way to get to the idea of “meatless Mondays” and expand that thought to other days of the week. Mark will not like the idea of meatless meals. He grew up poor and when he finally did have two nickels to rub together his first thought was not an expensive sports car or diamond cufflinks. No, the boy just wanted a steak. And now he feels slighted if each and every meal does not contain cow, chicken or pig. So the other night, I cleverly introduced this concept of meatless meals without telling him. I made pasta with portobello cream sauce. “You know,” he said completely unaware of my scheme, “you almost don’t miss the meat with these mushrooms.” Ha! I realize I will not have the same success with corn or green beans, but I will become creative. I have to. The tipping point has been reached and I cannot go back. I can’t afford it.
Pasta with Portobello Cream Sauce
6 ounces Portobello mushroom caps
2 tablespoons butter
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon dried oregano
¼ cup dry white wine
Juice of half a lemon
8 ounces heavy whipping cream
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 ounces thin spaghetti
Roughly chop the mushroom caps. Melt the butter in a large sauté pan and add the mushrooms. Cook over medium heat until well browned. Add the garlic, salt, pepper and oregano and sauté for about a minute. Add the wine and lemon juice and reduce the liquid by half. Add the cream and continue to reduce the sauce until it thickens. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.
Cook spaghetti to al dente and add it to the mushroom cream mixture.