Penne alla Sherry with Shiitake Mushrooms and Spinach ~*Recipe ReDux*~

23 Dec

This month’s The Recipe ReDux theme is a repeat of last December’s theme: Grab a Book & Cook.

It’s the end of the year and we’re taking a moment to reflect – The Recipe ReDux has been around for 54 months! To celebrate, we’re playing a little party game this month: Grab your nearest cookbook and ReDux the recipe on page 54 or 154. We can’t wait to see the books you’re cooking from these days.

The newest addition to my cookbook collection is The Pollan Family Table, the best recipes and kitchen wisdom for delicious, healthy family meals (thanks for the gift, Emily!). When I flipped to page 154, the recipe for Penne alla Sherry with Shiitake Mushrooms and Spinach jumped out at me because A. I am in a deep love affair with shiitake mushrooms lately and B. I have always wanted to make Penne alla Vodka but I am not a big fan of vodka (Penna alla Bourbon anyone?) and that version always seemed too rich for a weeknight meal. The Pollan Family Table’s version of this Italian American classic replaces the vodka with sherry (I did not have sherry so I used red wine vinegar and it was a fine substitute), goes a little lighter on the cream compared to traditional alla Vodka sauce (1/3 cup vs. 1 cup), and adds in extra veggies.

This recipe makes a large batch of pasta. Great for enjoying leftovers all week long or for easy entertaining, ahem, Christmas weekend eats.


Penne alla Sherry with Shiitake Mushrooms and Spinach

adapted from The Pollan Family Table Cookbook, Page 154

Makes 6 servings


Kosher salt

1 pound ribbed penne pasta

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots

4 cups stemmed and sliced shiitake mushrooms, cut 1/4 inch thick

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste

1/4 cup dry sherry or red wine vinegar

1/2 cup low sodium vegetable broth or water

1 1/4 cups canned crushed tomatoes with juice

1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

2 cups tightly packed fresh baby spinach leaves

Freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream


Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and the pasta. Cook until al dente, about 1 minute less than the directions on the package. Drain the pasta and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallots and saute for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and red pepper flakes and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms release their liquid. Allow the liquid to evaporate and the mushrooms to become lightly browned, another 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in the sherry or red wine vinegar, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the vegetable broth or water, tomatoes, and the sugar. Raise the heat to medium-high, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the spinach to the sauce and stir until it is soft, about 3 minutes. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper. Add the cream and stir for 2 minutes.

Stir in the pasta and mix, thoroughly coating the pasta with the sauce. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste, transfer to a serving bowl, and serve hot.



2 Responses to “Penne alla Sherry with Shiitake Mushrooms and Spinach ~*Recipe ReDux*~”

  1. nutritionbudgeteer December 23, 2015 at 4:55 pm #

    You can never go wrong with a pasta dish. Looks scrumptious.

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