Virtual Potluck: Penne with Mushroom Sauce

Penne with Mushroom Sauce

Delicious Memories, Recipes and Stories from the Chef Boyardee Family by Anna Boiardi is the cookbook I will be sharing with you today.  I was offered to do a cookbook review and giveaway from Abrams Books through Virtual Potluck.  Virtual Potluck came about from the One-Pot Cooking Party that I participated in earlier this year.  Twelve of the twenty participants decided to form a group because we loved working together and the idea of supporting each other.  You can read more about it here.

You know how much I love cookbooks.  Abrams offered to let us choose the book to review.  I chose two different books which were older and they suggested I do Delicious Memories.  I said sure without really even looking at the cookbook.  I was busy and I knew I would like any kind of cookbook.

Well when I had time to explore, I realized I was reviewing a Chef Boyardee cookbook.  My initial response was, “WHAT, like from the can?”  But after I received the book my impression changed.  Not only is this cookbook filled with authentic Italian recipes, it has wonderful stories along with photos of the Boiardi family and their legendary business.

I have quite a few little yellow sticky notes marking all of the recipes I want to try.  There are recipes for homemade pasta, pizza, side dishes, condiments and quite a few desserts.  This recipe for Penne with Mushroom Sauce blew me away.  It is so simple, but the deep flavor will knock your socks off.  I was surprised that there was no garlic, oregano,basil or mountain of melted cheese.  I didn’t miss any of it, this was the real deal, authentic Italian food at it’s best.

Abrams is also offering one lucky reader their very own copy of Delicious Memories.  This is a wonderful cookbook to add to your collection or would make a great gift to your favorite cook.  It is filled with recipes easily made in your own kitchen with all of the comforting Italian flavors we all crave.

 Visit Cookistry for the complete roundup for this Virtual Potluck. There you will find the links to win 8, yes I said EIGHT different cookbooks!


Leann Lindeman

Commented/entered on 30eats.


To enter:

  • Leave a comment here telling me your favorite food memory.

Extra entries:

  • Check out another Virtual Potluck post and leave a comment, come back here letting me know which post you commented on. (If you comment on every Virtual Potluck post that is eight total entries! Just leave a comment here for each one) 
  • Follow Miss in the Kitchen on Twitter
  • Tweet the following: “Enter to win a copy of Delicious Memories from Miss in the Kitchen  #VirtualPotluck”

Contest open to US residents & Canada.  Entries will be received through Friday, November 18, 2011.  

Disclosure: Sponsored by Abrams Books, all opinions are my own.

Penne with Mushroom Sauce

from: Delicious Memories, Recipes and Stories from the Chef Boyardee Family


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 oz dried porcini mushrooms, preferably Italian
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 (32 oz) can plum tomatoes, preferably Italian, pureed in a food mill
  • salt & freshly ground pepper
  • *1 tablespoon sugar, optional
  • 1 pound penne

Cooking Directions:

In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Remove it from the heat, add the dried mushrooms and let stand at least 1 hour, or until the mushrooms are very soft and you feel no hard areas when you press them between your fingers.  Set a fine strainer  over a bowl.  Strain the mushrooms, reserving the soaking liquid. Rinse the mushrooms under cold running water to remove any grit or sand and drain again.  Dry on a paper towel.  Chop the mushrooms into 1/4 inch pieces and set aside.  Line the strainer with paper towels and set it over a bowl.  Strain the mushroom broth into the bowl to remove any grit.  You should have about 1 cup broth; set aside.

Heat the oil and butter in a saucepan over low heat.  Add the chopped onion and cook until it is translucent and soft but not brown, 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the tomato puree, the chopped mushrooms, and the strained mushroom broth.  Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. *(I added 1 tablespoon sugar because my tomatoes were a little on the acid-y side.)  Cook, uncovered, at a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened , about 45 minutes.  Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if the sauce needs it.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the penne.  Add enough salt to the pasta water to make it salty (about 1/4 cup).

About 10 minutes before the sauce is cooked, put a colander in the sink.  Add the penne to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions.  Drain in the colander.  Dump the pasta into a bowl.  Ad the sauce and toss with two forks to completely coat the penne with the sauce.  Serve immediately.



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