Home ยป An Illini loss & mushroom bolognese.

An Illini loss & mushroom bolognese.

Monday mornings are always tough, but they’re even worse when 1) you spend ALL of Sunday in the car (…and miss your hockey game because you get stuck in 2 hours of bumper-to-bumper traffic in Indianapolis 🙁 ) and 2) when your puppy has to go in for surgery. Send thoughts and prayers Lily’s way as today is her eye surgery. Thank you in advance to all the Lily lovers out there…trust me when I say she loves you back! Lots! …with kissies, too!

The weekend was a blast, despite the Illini’s fall to #2 Ohio State. At least we gave them a run for their money.

I took a few pictures with my digi cam. My laptop and DSLR were left at home so I was completely unplugged (other than the 15 minutes I spent meal planning at my in-laws). Mr. Prevention said on the way home, “I can’t believe you went without your laptop all weekend…and your camera.” Seriously. My laptop and I are like one in the same…and once in awhile, it’s nice to unplug and limit technologies.

Campus was in the spirit…

We were in row 2 so we got a close-up of Bruce Weber (Illini Head Basketball Coach) and the team

And a close-up of Brutus…

Proof that we were in it to win it!

And we caught an Illini hockey game, too 😀 We won 5-4.

It was an awesome weekend 🙂

As soon as we got home, we unloaded the car and I went straight to the grocery store to get ready for the week. My sanity is meal planning, and out of town for the weekend or not, I have to go into Monday prepared for the week. Starting with a yummy Sunday dinner.

Mushroom Bolognese from Cooking Light

1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup boiling water
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 1/2 cups chopped onion
3/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/2 pound ground pork
8 cups finely chopped cremini mushrooms (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup white wine (I used Chardonnay)
1  (14-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained
1/4 cup whole milk (I used half-and-half because I had it on hand)
10 ounce uncooked whole-wheat spaghetti tubes
1  Tbsp kosher salt
1 1/2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


Combine porcini and boiling water in a bowl; cover and let stand 20 minutes or until soft. Drain porcini in a colander lined with a paper towel over a bowl, reserving liquid. Rinse and chop porcini.

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and pork; cook 10 minutes or until pork is browned, stirring to crumble pork. Add cremini mushrooms, garlic, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper; cook 15 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates, stirring occasionally. Add porcini; cook 1 minute. Add tomato paste; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add reserved porcini liquid and wine; cook 1 minute, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and breaking up tomatoes as necessary. Stir in milk; cook 2 minutes.

Cook pasta according to package directions, adding 1 tablespoon salt to cooking water. Drain. Toss pasta with sauce; top with cheese and parsley. Serves 6.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 344 calories; 8.6 g. fat (2.9 g. saturated); 34 mg. cholesterol; 544 mg. sodium; 49.6 g. carbohydrate; 9.6 g. fiber; 22.1 g. protein

Result: If you love mushrooms, you will fall in love with this bolognese. The wine and mushrooms compliment each other so beautifully. You get the sweetness of the wine first, and then the savory, hearty, rich flavor of the mushrooms. I don’t recommend skimping on the mushrooms and using something other than cremini…they are meatier than button mushrooms and hold together through the cooking process. Yum, yum, yum…and the same review came from Mr. P 😀 Nutritionally speaking, also a home run. The dish is loaded with veggies and fiber, low in saturated fat, moderate carbohydrate, and a good source of protein. A winner all around!

Despite the recipe calling for white wine, a dry red wine pairs beautifully with the dish!

Question: Mushrooms — love’em or hate’em? And just for fun…what’s your favorite sport to watch?

Be well,

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  1. October 4, 2010 / 7:16 am

    I absolutely adore mushrooms. And will put them in almost anything if I can.

    Sorry about the traffic issues- it’s always SO frustrating! :p

    Goodluck with puppy surgery! I’m sure Lily will do great. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. October 4, 2010 / 7:35 am

    I love mushrooms – like Amy, I will put them in anything I can.

    Good luck to Lily – I will be sending her good vibes.

    Sorry about the traffic – traffic is so horrible!

  3. October 4, 2010 / 7:51 am

    I agree, you gave us a definite run for our money!! I only watched part of the game because I had to work, but I parts I watched were dreadful. While I LOVE OSU, I’m not too confident in their abilities right now….yikes.

    Glad you had a nice weekend and I am sending you (and Lily) my thoughts and prayers!! Poor little girl. I’m sure she’ll get nice and spoiled when she arrives home after surgery!

    Mushrooms. LOVE EM’!!!!

  4. October 4, 2010 / 8:02 am

    Love the mushrooms!! Looks wonderful ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. October 4, 2010 / 8:03 am

    i love mushrooms too….and this dish looks yum

  6. October 4, 2010 / 8:03 am

    I’m not a mushroom fan, though I can pick around them if I’m eating something with a ton of mushrooms.

    Sorry to hear Lily’s going in for surgery. Hope she does OK. Poor thing.

  7. October 4, 2010 / 8:38 am

    Looks like a great weekend Nicole! Too bad Illini lost:( Boo!
    This recipe looks awesome! I love anything with mushrooms in it!

  8. October 4, 2010 / 8:50 am

    Sounds like such a fun weekend–unplugging is so refreshing once and awhile! And that Cooking Light meal looks amazing, as usual!

  9. October 4, 2010 / 11:04 am

    I used to hate mushrooms. Now I don’t exactly love them but I eat them LOL

  10. October 4, 2010 / 2:59 pm

    Thanks for the great recipe! Oh and go Bucks! (Sorry ohio girl here!)

  11. October 4, 2010 / 5:28 pm

    My husband was flipping around college games on Saturday, and I yelled “is Illinois winning?” He asked why and I said “my friend Nicole is at the game!”

    To which he responded – “have you met Nicole?” Nope – but I still call you my friend! ๐Ÿ˜€ Sorry they lost.

    Mushrooms – love the smell, hate the taste. Baseball is my favorite to watch – too bad our White Sox sucked ass this year, but at least we have won a Championship! (I had to do a Cubs dig, didn’t I?!)

  12. October 4, 2010 / 9:46 pm

    Glad you had such a nice weekend! It is weird but I only like mushrooms in other dishes (or stuffed). My mom makes these sautรฉed mushrooms that everyone raves about, but I could never get into them.

  13. October 5, 2010 / 9:55 am

    I just had to comment because oh goodness do I hate Ohio State. I was rooting for IL and thought you all were going to pull out a win. P.S. Go Boilermakers!

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