Chicken Marsala was one of my favorite dishes for a long time. After going back to vegetarian a few months ago, I found myself craving it. Not for the chicken though, for the marsala sauce. I do think the pancetta adds immense flavor to the sauce, so I wasn't sure I could make a pasta marsala sauce that would taste as good.
I also was concerned that a pasta dish with just mushrooms would seem to be missing something. I was searching on Food Network's website and found this Giada recipe. Adding artichokes was a genius move, in my opinion. They add a new texture, flavor, and meaty quality to the dish. I did think the absence of pancetta was noticable, but with the addition of a little more parmesan I thought the dish was great.
It can easily be altered to add any protein, such as chicken, pork, turkey meatballs or for vegetarians, cannelini beans or tempeh strips.
Marsala Pasta with Mushrooms and Artichokes
adapted from Giada Laurentiis
1 tbsp. EVOO
1 small yellow onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. cremini mushrooms, sliced
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
2/3 c. dry Marsala wine
6 oz. whole wheat pasta (I used Barilla whole wheat shells)
1 15 oz. can quartered artichokes, drained well
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves (3/4 sprigs)
2 tbsp. half and half
1/2 c. grated Parmesan, separated
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt, add pasta and cook to al dente.
Drain and set aside.
Heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat.
Add EVOO, onion, garlic and mushrooms.
Saute for 5-8 minutes, until mushrooms have sweat out liquid and begin to caramelize.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add Marsala, simmer and reduce by half.
Add artichokes, thyme, and half and half.
Stir well to combine, add cooked pasta and half the cheese, stir well.
Bring to temperature, plate and serve with remaining grated parmesan.