Comfort Food

Things have taken a turn around the golden state of late. The other night we were feeling a bit off kilter after the big earthquake and a blustery storm was brewin’. Nothing like some queasiness and cold winter to make one crave a comforting pasta dish.

What is it about pasta that makes one feel warm and comforted?

First, pasta is high in carbs, which increase the feel-good chemical, serotonin, in the brain. The other reason is that some foods bring comfort memories of a place, time or person.

As the aftershocks continued to rumble we dug in and whipped up a comforting mushroom pasta dish full of cheesy goodness. Normally this is an oozy, gooey, cheesy, creamy wonder packed with calories.

Did you know cheeses made from cow’s milk have around 100 calories and 10g of fat per ounce?

When it comes to fat and calories, goat cheese has the advantage over cheese made from cow’s milk. Chevre has just 80 calories with only 6g fat per ounce and packs five grams of protein in each tiny ounce.

Since we’re cutting down on calories here we like to reduce the total amount of cheese and add some white wine. Everything in moderation.

  • 1 generous, healthy cube of butter roughly ¼ cube
  • 1lb Mushrooms (cremini, porcini, chanterelle etc.) sliced
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • Splash of heavy cream or 1/4in slice of chevre
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • ½ lb Peppardelle pasta
  • Salt for pasta water

Set a pot of water to boil.  Melt the butter in your skillet, add mushrooms and cook until golden.  images

When the water boils, season with salt and add your pasta. Cook to desired tenderness. Drain the past reserving some water.

Papardelle

In the skillet add the white wine. (Ok you can drink some too.)

Add the pasta with the water. Now, the splash of cream or the Chevre. Add the Parm and stir well to help the cheese melt.

Once everything is good and gooey; the pasta coated, serve with the fresh parsley sprinkled on top.

Scientists have now found ‘comfort’ eating really does work at a molecular level to lift our mood. So take bowl of pasta and call me in the morning!

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