Penne with Brie, Mushrooms and Arugula

It’s carbo-loading time! San Diego Rock n’ Roll Marathon is on Sunday! Ahh! I am officially freaking out. The only thing left to do is sit as much as possible, sleep at least eight hours a night, and eat pasta, my favorite food. Send Carmen, Marta and I good luck vibes Sunday morning. We’re starting at 6:15. Here’s to hoping we don’t hit the dreaded wall and end with smiles! 


12 ounces penne
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound button mushrooms
1 small red onion
1/2 cup pasta water
Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes

8 ounces Brie, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 package baby arugula

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking water, drain the pasta, and return it to the pot.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the mushrooms and onion and cook, tossing occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to release their juices, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the wine, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook until the mushrooms begin to brown, 5 to 6 minutes.
Toss the pasta with the Brie and reserved cooking water until the pasta is coated. Stir in the mushroom mixture and arugula.

Lazy Polenta Lasagna

When I’m craving lasagna but don’t have the energy to prepare it, I make Lazy Polenta Lasagna. Because this lasagna uses such few ingredients, it’s important to make sure you invest in quality. Skimp on the good stuff and this will taste like a lifeless “these ingredients have been sitting in my pantry for months” casserole. You might also consider adding a few fresh tomatoes and some fresh herbs to liven it up. Be sure to buy the best mozzarella cheese, stay away from ragu sauce, and don’t buy the cheapo pepperoni in a bag. The prep work involved in this meal is quick. Just slice the polenta into rounds, top with a little bit of marinara, add the pepperoni, top with the rest of the marinara, sprinkle on the cheese and stick it in the oven. 30 minutes later you’ve got that warm, comforting lasagna taste in a fraction of the time.

1 (18-ounce) roll precooked polenta, cut into 9 rounds
1 cup quality marinara sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
9 thin slices pepperoni
Enough shredded mozzarella cheese to top the lasagna

1/4 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange polenta rounds in an even layer in the bottom of the dish. Spoon marinara over the top, then scatter with oregano and red pepper flakes. Arrange pepperoni over the sauce, then top with cheese and parsley and bake until hot throughout and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Serve hot.