Orecchiette with Caramelized Onions and Mushroom Sauce

I love pasta. Who doesn’t?

The best part about pasta is that my kids tend to love it–no matter what I put on it. Top it with veggies and some Parmesan cheese and they are happy campers.

Another reason I love pasta is because of all of the wonderful shapes it comes in. Every shape has a it’s benefits – based on how it sticks or holds whatever toppings you pair it with. One of my favorite pasta shapes is Orecchiette. The name of the pasta comes from it’s shape – the ear. Though my daughter thinks it resembles a hat more than an ear. We won’t go there. I love the shape and it’s consistency. I also love the way it grabs on to the toppings.

This recent pasta dinner was super easy to make – you just have to have a little bit of patience with the onions. I love onions, especially caramelized onions. They cook by themselves and require very little effort – my kind of meal. With the addition of some meaty baby bella mushrooms, the dish is complete.

Orecchiette with Caramelized Onions and Mushroom Sauce

1 lb orecchiette pasta
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
2 large onions, sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
10 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
sea salt
fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup chopped thyme
1/4 cup half & half
1/4 parmesan cheese


Cook pasta according to the directions on the box. Cook to
al dente, reserving about 3/4 cup of the cook water. Strain the pasta. Do not rinse it. Set aside.

While pasta is cooking, work on the onions. 

Slice the onions in to thin strips. Heat up a pan with olive oil and butter. Add the onions. Let them cook on medium with a lid for about 20 minutes. You will see them begin to caramelize. 

After 20 minutes, add the garlic, mushrooms and thyme. Let it cook for a bit longer. 

After another 7 minutes or so, add in the half & half and the parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Stir.  Add in the pasta water and the pasta. Stir everything up.

Serve and enjoy!


Mushroom Meatloaf

I rarely have the luxury of extra time on Friday afternoons.  I love when the days get longer in the spring time. Still, I somehow manage to race against the clock each Friday, to ensure that everything is ready in time. I had the day off this Friday. I managed to use it well. I also managed to have everytthing cooked with two hours to spare. That’s unheard of in this house. Of course, I managed to find what to do in those two hours. There is always plenty of tidying up, working and parenting that can be done in that time.

What I was extremely happy about though, was that I could actually take a photo of one of the Shabbat foods. It’s the little things, right?

When I did my weekly shopping trip to the kosher grocery store, they had ground beef on sale. I probably should have bought a few extra packages to throw in to the abyss of my deep freezer. I just bought one package though, and decided to wait until Friday to figure out it’s fate.

When Friday came along, the ground beef screamed meatloaf at me. I chose to make a mushroom meatloaf. Everyone is happy with this meatloaf. I pair it with a vegetarian mushroom gravy. The gravy can do double duty for any side dishes.

Mushroom Meatloaf

1.5 lbs ground beef
2 small onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 containers mushrooms (1/2 container, chopped; the other 1/2 – thinly sliced)
2 tsp. ground thyme
2 tsp. paprika
2 extra large eggs
1/2 cup flavored bread crumbs
1/2 cup ketchup

1/3 cup ketchup
2 tsp. soy sauce
1.5 tbsp. brown sugar
 tsp. sriracha sauce (less if you like it less spicy)

olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1/2 container mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp. flour
Vegetable broth – about 1-2 cups or to desired consistency
garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, mix everything together except for half of the chopped onions and the sliced mushrooms.

Smush half of the meat mixture in to a loaf pan.

Sprinkle the remaining chopped onions and sliced mushrooms over the mixture. Top with the rest of the meat mixture.

In a small bowl, mix up the glaze ingredients. Spread over the meatloaf mixture.

Baked for around 45 minutes.

While the meatloaf is baking, work on the gravy.

In a deep saute pan, saute the chopped onions, garlic, shallots and mushrooms in olive oil.
Sprinkle in some garlic powder, salt and pepper

Stir in the flour to make a roux.

Whisk in the vegetable broth until you reach desired consistency. Taste. Add more salt and pepper if necessary.

When the meatloaf has cooled down a little, slice and serve with the gravy.


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