Mushroom Feta & Herb Pasta

It's been a typical January for us around here - sick with bad colds and not eating anything too fancy. We have been drinking lots of juice, lots of smoothies, lots of tea and soup {recipe coming soon}!

Today however, I finally felt like cooking! I crave cooking after a few days of a boring bland diet. This time, I had a strong urge to make something really hearty and comforting yet still fresh and pretty and something I'd feel good eating. So gluten-free pasta it is! 

I don't usually push too much cheese and dairy on this blog but when I do, it's usually feta and sometimes parmesan. High quality sheeps milk feta is so tangy that nothing vegan really compares to it. You can definitely leave out the feta but I will warn you, it will change the entire meal. But it's still a tasty one sans cheese. {just add extra sea salt}

I can't eat rich pasta without fresh herbs on top; It's a weird habit of mine to load up fresh stuff into my bowl of noodles. It just doesn't seem right to cook everything and just coat it in a thick heavy sauce. And it's never as pretty without fresh stuff either. Adding crispy, fresh, flavorful herbs turns a good dish into an interesting GREAT one. 

The radicchio is bitter; rainbow radish is crunchy; arugula sprouts are flavorful and well, pretty; and the toasted hazelnuts are nutty! The combination is just perfect. 

You can play around with similar herbs and nuts or seeds if you'd like. Get creative, I challenge you!  Why not? It will only hone your cooking skills. 

Mushroom Feta & Herb Pasta

3 cups mushrooms, chopped

2 Tbls shallots or red onion, chopped fine

1 Tbls olive oil

1/4 tsp sea salt or to taste

In a sauce pan you'll want to add mushrooms, oil and sea salt. Let them cook until bottoms are browned about 2-3 minutes. Using a metal spatula flip the mushrooms and cook again for another 2 minutes. Add shallots/onion. Toss again. You'll want to keep tossing and browning until moisture is gone. About 5 more minutes. You don't want them to burn but they will be pretty browned and dry on each side. 

1/4 head radicchio

1 rainbow radish

1/4 cup arugula sprouts, or any other pretty chopped green herbs

1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted + chopped

While the mushrooms are cooking, you'll want to chop the radicchio into small slivers as well as the radishes. You don't want to thick of slices. Preheat the oven to 350 and cook hazelnuts until browned but not burned. About 4-5 minutes, depending on your oven. A small toaster oven is best for toasting nuts. Chop nuts when cool. 

Boil water for pasta. 

1 lemon

1/4 cup + 1 Tbls olive oil

pinch sea salt

Tsp tamarind paste {optional}

1-2 tsp agave nectar or other liquid sweetener

7 oz feta

In a separate dish you'll want to whisk everything above together EXCEPT the feta until mixed well and creamy in color. 

Set feta aside. 

8-10 oz Pasta noodles, preferably fresh {not hard} and gluten-free

Once water is boiling, follow directions on package and cook pasta. About 4-15 minutes depending on pasta. 

Drain pasta well. Add sauce/dresssing, feta and mushrooms/onion. Mix well in a nice serving bowl or dish. Top entire pasta dish with herbs, toasted nuts, more feta, sprouts, etc. 

Serve and eat right away while hot for best flavor. 

Enjoy!