PEPPERY PORTABELLAS WITH PASTA

PEPPERY PORTABELLAS WITH PASTA

1 pound portabella mushrooms
12 ounces fettuccine pasta (uncooked)
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes in purée
1 cup chicken broth
OR
1 cup vegetable broth
8 ounces (about 1-1/2 cups) fresh asparagus, sliced diagonally in 1-inch pieces
OR
8 ounces (about 1-1/2 cups) fresh green beans, sliced diagonally in 1-inch pieces

Bring a large covered pot of water to a boil. If using portabellas with stems, remove them, trim and thinly slice. Slice portabellas; halve each slice. To boiling water, add fettuccine; cook until barely tender, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over high heat. Add mushrooms; cook and stir about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and the black pepper. Remove to a plate; cover loosely to keep warm. In the same skillet, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add garlic, red pepper and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt; cook and stir over medium heat until garlic is golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Immediately add crushed tomatoes and chicken broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, to blend the flavors and thicken the sauce, about 5 minutes. Add asparagus; cover and cook until barely tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in cooked mushrooms and any accumulated liquid. Drain pasta; place in a large serving bowl or in individual bowls. Spoon mushroom mixture over pasta. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, if desired.

Yield: 4 to 6 portions