Cafe Society

Cooking with Pete and Barb Marczyk: Penne pasta with vegetables and goat cheese

Pete Marczyk and Barbara Macfarlane do not leave their work behind when they leave Marczyk Fine Foods and head for their great old Denver house with the big, new kitchen. They often bring some of their market's choicest ingredients home with them and cook up a feast.

"In the days that followed Thanksgiving," admits Barb, "I knew dinner had to be ABT: anything but turkey." Even her son, she says, balked when Barb tried, unsuccessfully, to give him a turkey sandwich for lunch. "He cried that he'd had turkey every day -- and he was right."

She hauled out her cookbooks and cooking magazines, started leafing through recipes that had nothing whatsoever to do with giblets or legs, and came across an old issue of Martha Stewart Living. "I went all the way back to 2000 -- I know, kinda geeky -- but I found an awesome recipe for veggies and pasta," says Barb, noting that the recipe was bereft of fresh herbs, so she added some fresh thyme. "It would be really great with Marczyk's mild Italian sausage, too," she adds. She recommends drinking a mellow Italian red with the pasta, like La Famiglia Petite Sirah, which is made by the Guadagni family, the oldest wine producing family in Tuscany.


One 16-ounce package whole-wheat penne, or other pasta 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 onion, peeled and cut into slivers 1 small butternut squash (1 1/2 to 2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices 1/4 cup dry sherry 3 cups homemade or low-sodium canned chicken stock, skimmed of fat 3 ounces beet greens, from 1 bunch beets (or red or green Swiss chard), tough stems removed, cut into 1/2-inch strips 1 teaspoon coarse salt 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped. 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 2 ounces low-fat goat cheese, crumbled


1. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add pasta; cook according to package directions. Drain, set aside and cover with plastic wrap. 2. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion, and cook until translucent, about 10 minutes. 3. Add squash, and cook until slightly softened, about 10 minutes. 4. Add mushrooms, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. 5. Add sherry, and cook until liquid evaporates. Add stock, and cook until vegetables are tender and stock is reduced by half, 15 to 20 minutes. 6. Stir in greens, and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. 7. Add pasta, salt, and pepper, and toss to combine. Serve topped with cheese.

For more from Pete, Barbara and Marczyk Fine Foods, visit the market website. And be sure to check out Pete's blog and Marczyk Fine Wines.

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Lori Midson
Contact: Lori Midson