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When I was a kid, my mom never shared her favorite treat of microwaved mushrooms with butter.  Consequently, I grew up believing that mushrooms are valuable, delicious, and coveted.  Luckily, my husband doesn’t share this view.   He lets me buy mushrooms with (near) impunity and I can eat them all!  I love all varieties of mushrooms and their musky, hearty flavor.  I love the slight chewiness and juiciness of mushrooms.  I love mushrooms so much that I should probably give them up during fasts.  But, only when I’ve reached a higher spiritual level.

In the mean time I want to share my own delicious mushroom pasta concoction with you.  I realize that this might be utterly disgusting to some people.  But some others of you I hope might enjoy it.

*You can toast your walnuts before starting in a dry skillet or quickly toast them in the oven at 300 or in the toaster oven.  Or, if a good walnut flavor isn’t important, you may add them at Step 3.

*If after you add the walnuts, the mix looks dry you can add more olive oil.

Mushroom Black Olive Delight

1/2 pound shell pasta, 1/2 cup cooking liquid reserved

1 1/2 cup of chopped white mushrooms, Portabellas, or Baby Bellas

1 can of chopped or sliced black olives, drained

3/4 cup walnuts, chopped

1/2 onion, chopped finely

1/4 cup cooked quinoa

1/4-1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 Tablespoon (or more) Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon butter substitute

SALT to taste

Step 1. Lord, bless my work.

Step 2.  Cook pasta in salted water, drain, and reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

Step 2. Heat oil and butter substitute in a medium skillet over medium-low heat.  Gently saute onions until fragrant.  Stir in mushrooms.   Cook, covered, until mushrooms start to lose moisture.  Remove lid, continue to cook until mushrooms begin to darken.

Step 3. If you have not toasted your walnuts add them now to cook them.  Cook nuts 3 minutes to develop flavor.  Stir in olives, quinoa, and parsley until warm.

Step 4.  Add 1-2 tablespoons of cooking liquid to the sauce, stirring until it reaches desired consistency.  The starch will help to thicken the sauce so it sticks to the noodles.  Stir in pasta.  Serve.

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