One of my all time favourite recipes for one is Nigella recipe for pasta with anchovy sauce from her book How to Eat: The Pleasures and Principles of Good Food. The marsala just makes the onions in the pasta sauce this amazing gooey sweet mess that the anchovies cut through with their divine saltiness. I love Nigella’s book – not only does it have some innovative recipes for one, something you don’t often see as well as a section on cooking in advance if you want to do some weekend food preparation.
I also love marsala and always have a bottle in the cupboard to make this recipe but being a food blogger and all I don’t actually remake recipes that often. But I came across this mushroom marsala pasta bake and I now have another recipe to which to put that bottle to use. Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen is one of my favourite food blogs. As her about me says it is ‘comfort food stepped up a bit’. My kind of food.
This mushroom marsala pasta bake is amazingly warming and filling. It is packed with flavour from the sweetness of marsala and the earthiness of mushrooms and it is one of those vegetarian recipes that people argue will keep meat eaters happy.
The original recipe says you can make this in one pot and I suspect that if you are making the recipe for the number originally intended then that would work. But I found that reducing it down to a portion for one the pot needed to cook the pasta was too big to then stop the sauce evaporating. The first time I tried to make this as one pot, I had a lot of extra cooked bits. It was still very tasty but I had to avoid eating the edges.
For us solo cooks I recommend making the pasta separately which unfortunately does mean one more pot but does make the recipe a bit quicker. The other trick I found is that it is important to get the oil hot before adding the mushrooms. I tend to always go a bit early and that didn’t work the second time I made this. If you are making this for more than one and following the recipe as given on Smitten Kitchen then the pot is nice and hot from cooking the pasta. But as I cooked the pasta separately, not jumping the gun on the oil being hot was important for getting the mushrooms to reduce and concentrate their flavour. Make sure the pot is good and hot before you pop the mushrooms in.
To make this for one I used the following ingredients:
- 50 g of fusilli (or another twisty pasta)
- 1/2 tsp of olive oil
- 56 g swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 of a brown onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tsps marsala
- 1/2 tbs of unsalted butter
- 1/2 tbs of plain flour (all purpose)
- 80ml of stock (I normally use fake chicken stock)
- 10g parmesan cheese, grated
- 20g mozzarella, cut into small cubes
- 1/2 tbs continental parsley, shredded
- salt and pepper to taste
Making it for one and cooking the pasta separately, turn your oven on to heat and pop the water on for the pasta on to boil. While the water is coming to a boil do all your preparation for the rest of the recipe as provided on Smitten Kitchen. Once you pop your pasta in to the boiling water, you can started on separately cooking the sauce. Doing it this way, preparation time is about 10 minutes and then cooking time is about 40 minutes including cooking the pasta and the time in the oven. Most of the cooking time is in the oven so you can get on with other things while this cooks. I heated the oven to 170C as I used a pot that goes into the oven up to this temperature.
The recipe has about 530 calories all up.
Note the link to Nigella Lawson’s book is an affiliate link. If you click on the link and decide to purchase then I will receive a small commission. There is no additional cost to you. I only recommend products that I personally use and recommend.