mushroom marsala pasta bake

I love me a good casserole- one pan, baked goodness which can be put in the fridge as is and reheated with ease. One of my favorite pasta dishes I like to make with my husband is orzo with Marsala, mushrooms and peas. The combination of mushrooms and Marsala is like none other, so when I saw this pasta recipe, I knew I had to try it. If you love all things mushroom (and pasta, and cheese) then give this one a try.

Oh and did I mention how easy it is to make? Don’t let the recipe fool you- this is super simple to prepare! I promise.


recipe courtesy: smitten kitchen 


1/2 pound (8 ounces or 225 grams) pasta of you choice, such as a ziti or twisty shape
1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
3/4 pounds (340 grams) fresh mushroom, sliced (I used pre-sliced cremini, my new favorite thing)
1 small-to-medium yellow onion, halved and sliced thin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup (60 ml) dry marsala wine (see notes at end for more information)
3 tablespoons (45 grams) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons (25 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups (355 ml) stock or broth (chicken, vegetable or mushroom)
1/2 cup (50 grams) finely grated parmesan cheese
4 ounces (115 grams) mozzarella, cut into small cubes
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Cook the pasta: Bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 1 to 2 minutes before perfect doneness. Drain and set aside.

Heat oven: To 400 degrees.

Make the sauce: Reheat your empty pasta pot over high heat. Add oil and once it is hot, add mushrooms and cook until they’ve begun to brown and glisten, but have not yet released their liquid. Reduce heat to medium-high, add onions, salt and pepper and saute together until the liquid the mushrooms give off is evaporated. Add Marsala and cook mixture, stirring, until it has almost or fully evaporated (depending on your preference). Add butter, stir until melted. Add flour, and stir until all has been dampened and absorbed. Add stock, a very small splash at a time, stirring the whole time with a spoon. Make sure each splash has been fully mixed into the butter/flour/mushroom mixture, scraping from the bottom of the pan and all around, before adding the next splash. Repeat until all stock has been added. Let mixture simmer together for 2 minutes, stirring frequently; the sauce will thicken. Remove pan from heat.

Assemble and bake dish: If you’re cooking in an ovensafe dish, add cooked pasta and stir until combined. (If you’re not cooking in an ovensafe dish, transfer this mixture to a 2-quart baking dish.) Stir in half the parmesan, all of the mozzarella and two tablespoons of the parsley until evenly mixed. Sprinkle the top with remaining parmesan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until edges of pasta are golden brown and irresistible. Sprinkle with reserved parsley and serve hot. Reheat as needed.

good reads


This book was the biggest surprise for me- in that I wanted to like it but I just didn’t. I am a huge fan of An Patchett, and two of my favorite books, Bel Canto and State of Wonder have been written by her. I had the highest of expectations of this one, after having patiently waiting for my pre- ordered copy to arrive.

The opening scene, which begins with a kiss, was a winner for me. I liked how this reminded me of Bel Canto. This scene itself is well written, but what bothered me most about this book in general was how years upon years are just skipped and time intervals jumps back and forth so much that it all seemed disjointed to me. Patchett does such a wonderful job at introducing the characters, but they are not developed throughout the book, so that I found myself unsure of who the essence of these siblings( and step siblings and step parents) is. If they had been better developed, I wouldn’t have forgotten who was who, having to keep going back just to keep track of who the kids belonged to.

I also felt that certain scenes were given way too much importance and were described quite vividly while other events were completed ignored.I questioned, who exactly is the main character of this book, if anyone?? Did the author leave much to the imagination? Was I supposed to fill in the blanks?

My last note is that a fatal episode is described in detail here, the implications of which I don’t think are plausible ( anaphylactic reaction to a bee sting).  How would Bena­dryl pills have stopped the character from dying of anaphylaxis??

This book left me confused, unsure of what story the author is trying to tell, and frankly disappointed. I have a great deal of respect for the author, who has given me the pleasure of being in a different world the moment I enter one of her books. Perhaps I am missing something with this one, but it does not go on my list of recommendations.


beauty · photography

fall lips


There is nothing I love more than a berry lip for the Fall. A bold berry lip color can instantly pull any look together, making it look as though you’ve spent a lot more time on your look than you really have. I don’t know about you, but there are definitely some mornings when I just don’t have the time (or care) much for getting all dolled up. These lip colors are my saviors for those mornings. Another little trick is to pop one of these babies on when I’m not feeling so hot. I get compliments when I’m actually sick, thanks to this trick I learned from a dear friend of mine. I also these colors for date nights!

smash box be legendary lip gloss
Clinique chubby stick 
Clinique Pop lip color + primer 

Here’s a roundup of my favorite fall lip colors:

Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer in berry pop 

CLINIQUE Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in grandest grape 

Smash box Be Legendary Lip Gloss in vivid violet 


top to bottom: smash box gloss, clinique chubby stick, clinique lipstick 

What is your favorite Fall lip color?? Hope you have a wonderful week and thank you so much for stopping by!



beauty · food · good reads · lifestyle · photography

fall essentials



Fall is my favorite season of the year and in a perfect world we would have fall for 6 months and summer for the other half ( vacation applies to said 6 months).

I love fall food, fashion and decor so much. Here are my fall essentials (in random order):


Caramel pecan apple pie– The next time you want to put a smile on someone’s face, bring them one of these. This is a staple in our home every Fall.

My all time favorite fall lipstick is Lolita by Kat Von D. It is that perfect fall shade. I know liquid lipsticks can get a bit drying so I like to apply a lip balm before applying this lipstick.

I’ve been loving this duster coat as the weather has been cooling down. I love that I can throw it on with a pair of jeans and a t-shirt and I instantly look pulled together.

I am a die hard fall candle fanatic- I literally have a candle burning whenever I’m home and usually in different rooms of my home. Fall to me is all about creating that cozy and comforting environment where you truly don’t want to leave home- and lighting one of these is one of my favorite ways to celebrate the season.


I cannot wait to wear these new booties, which I got as part of my Norstrom haul as well. The black suede will go perfectly with leggings or a pair of skinny jeans.

I love drinking Yogi bedtime tea in the evenings, either reading a good book (currently the latest Ann Patchett novel Commonwealth), or catching up on my favorite fall shows. I am also planning on having a Twilight movie marathon!

This is my favorite soup to make during the fall season- I’ve been making it for years and it will always remind me of our first Fall as a married couple. I loved making it with my husband and he still helps me every time this is on the menu. The crispy shallots  on top are optional but not in our home!


Last but not least, I love to get some fall/holloween toys for Chutney. He likes getting in the Fall spirit too! You can check out my Instagram account @ilovechutney to see my fall home decor haul and to see Chutney’s reaction to his new toy.

Happy Fall everyone!!