Wild Mushroom Ragout with Egg Noodles

 

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I have always liked mushrooms. I am not really sure why considering they are fleshy growths of fungus. 😱 Wild mushrooms grow abundantly in the fields and forests of Illinois. In fact, there are said to be more than 1,200 different species in the Chicago region. In my yard alone, there are several edible species. The golden-brown honey mushroom grows on the roots of my oaks. I have friends who come every year to pick them.

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Chili Mac & Cheese

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With all the extra activities around the holiday season, I’ve been feeling a bit worn down and need a little me time. When that happens I turn to one of my favorite winter meals.  A combination of two classic comfort foods: Chili and Mac-n-Cheese. It is guaranteed to warm you up, fill you up, and get you out of the kitchen and snuggled up in cozy PJs in no time at all.  A chili based pasta filled with spicy goodness swirled in cheese.

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Saffron Pappardelle & Shrimp

I have been experimenting with homemade pasta and am trying out different herbs and spices to see what pairs well. One of my favorite discoveries was saffron. Saffron is a flower that comes from the Saffron crocus. It has a strong, almost sage honey, smell, and taste. It is always best to use threads vs. powder. The threads add a wonderful flavor and a rich golden-yellow hue which makes it perfect for pasta.

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Fresh Pasta and Prosciutto Red Sauce

One of my favorite things to make in the summer is a traditional pasta red sauce. Add homemade pasta and you have a fresh, delicious, dish that fills the house with a spicy aroma that has the family gathering around the table long before the dinner bell is rung. You will love this simple, classic Italian dish that makes the most of summer’s tomatoes and fresh garden herbs.

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Macaroni Pasta Salad

I know, I know, the world needs another pasta salad like it needs more debt! But, you must try this simple and delicious recipe. I liked pasta salad okayish, but often found macaroni salad to be too sweet and dressed in too much mayonnaise. The Italian dressing version was a bit better, but it did not knock my socks off.

We were grilling hamburgers on a hot (97°F), humid, sunny day. I was looking for a cold, loaded with fresh veggies, side dish that would not take much cooking time. Of course, pasta salad came to mind. But how could I make it more appetizing? Here is what I came up with. After tasting it, I knew I had to share it. Even my non-pasta salad lovers liked this dish.

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