Wild Mushroom & Sausage Pappardelle

Wild Mushroom Pappardelle

In lieu of “National Pasta Day” we decided to share one of our favorite recipes from Kenwood Vineyards “Perfect Pairings” recipe book. Created by their team of Executive Chefs, this dish is perfect for the cooler weather ahead and pairs exceptionally well with Pinot Noir.

  • 8 ounces Pappardelle pasta
  • 2 tablespoons thyme, fresh leaves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-2 small dried red chilies, crumbled
  • 9 ounces good spicy sausage
  • 3-4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese freshly grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound mixed wild mushrooms*

* Shitakes, oysters, or hen of the woods, trimmed and torn or cut up.

Mushroom Pappardelle

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat; add sausage, onion and garlic, breaking sausage up with spoon while cooking until onions are golden, about 7 minutes. If sausage is fatty, drain excess drippings from pan. Add mushrooms, thyme, and chilies; cook, stirring frequently until mushrooms release their liquid and it evaporates, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook pasta to al dente in a large pot. Drain, saving ½ cup of cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot.

Add butter to mushroom mixture, along with a little of the cooking liquid from the pasta to loosen and deglaze. Pour mushroom mixture, parsley and parmesan cheese into pot with pasta and toss to combine. Turn out onto large platter to serve. May be garnished with more parsley and cheese.

Serves: 4-6

Love pasta? Love wine? Don’t forget to enter the “Perfect Pasta Pairing” contest for a chance to win a trip for two to beautiful Sonoma County valued at $5,000.

Tweet us at @ApronsStilettos and share with us your favorite pasta recipe for #NationalPastaDay!

Source: Kenwood Vineyards


Couscous Cakes & Heirloom Salad

Couscous Cakes

My friend Morgan and I often find ourselves playing “Chopped” in the kitchen where we decide to make dinner together with only the ingredients we currently have in the refrigerator / pantry. The menu is never set until we look at the ingredients each of us have contributed and we just “wing it!” We’ve never had a bad “Chopped” dinner date but I must say our couscous cakes with avocados and heirlooms has been the BEST and most beautiful “Chopped” dish to date. This entrée can easily be made into an appetizer or side salad. The creaminess of the avocado married with the crispy texture of the cakes and freshness of the heirloom salad makes this dish a winner in our “chopped” series of recipes.

CousCous Cakes How To

  • 1 1/2 cup couscous, cooked and cooled
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 egg
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • Fresh basil
  • Fresh thyme
  • 1 basket small heirloom tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese balls, cut in half
  • Olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Cook couscous per the directions on box and let cool. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Once couscous has cooled; combine one egg, shredded mozzarella, basil, thyme, salt and pepper to the couscous. Mix well and form small patties. Cook patties in 1 or 2 batches over medium heat, flipping once until the patties are crisp and golden brown on both sides (about 5 – 6 minutes each side). Repeat the same steps for the remaining patties.

While the couscous cakes are cooking, prepare the heirloom salad. Combine the heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and torn basil with a heavy drizzle of olive oil and a few dashes of red wine vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Cut avocados in half, remove the pit and slice lengthwise. Fan avocado slices on plate and place the warm couscous cakes on top. Finish with the heirloom salad.

Makes 6-8 cakes.

CousCous Cakes & Rose

Enjoy! ~ Crystal

Wine Pairing

2012 Muscardini Rosato di Sangiovese

Muscardini Rosato di Sangiovese

Muscardini Cellars is one of my favorite wineries in Sonoma Valley and owner/winemaker Michael is one of the coolest guys around. If you are ever in the Sonoma County area, this is a must on your winery to-do list. Michael’s 2012 Muscardini Rosato di Sangiovese opens up with vibrant strawberry and watermelon notes with a hint of wild berries and citrus. Perfectly balanced with a crisp and clean finish.

This is a perfect spring and summertime wine that makes a wonderful aperitif, yet pairs deliciously with simple fare such as fruit, mild cheeses and charcuterie, fish, salads and lighter fare. The perfect picnic wine! Click here to learn more about Muscardini Cellars!

Linguine with Heirloom Tomatoes, Basil & Olive Oil

Linguine tossed with Heirloom Tomatoes
1 pound Linguine pasta, cooked al dente
¼ cup slivered fresh garlic
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cups chopped fresh heirloom tomatoes
½ cup Sauvignon Blanc (I used Kenwood Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc)
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup whole basil leaves
Asiago cheese

Tomatoes, Garlic, Basil, Wine

Sauteed Tomatoes

In heavy bottomed sauté pan, heat olive oil. Drop in garlic and cook until it becomes translucent. Add tomatoes and sauté for one minute. Add stock and wine and simmer for 2 minutes. Season the sauce with kosher salt and cracked black pepper. Add basil leaves, remove from heat and toss in pasta. Serve immediately with cheese on top. Recipe inspired from our Executive Chef  – Robin Lehnhoff-McCray.

Linguine Heirloom Tomatoe with Chicken Tenderss,

Enjoy ~Crystal