Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Maggiano's Contest Recipe

I am so excited to finally share this recipe on here! Months ago, I took part in a Maggiano's cooking contest and created this recipe as my entry. It was really the first time I made something from scratch and actually measured and wrote down what I did for each step. Or, I should say, my sweet mom wrote down as I added ingredients and said out loud what I was doing. It was such a fun afternoon for the two of us! I didn't document the day quite as well as I did when we made our Pinterest inspired recipes, but we were able to create a yummy new meal! And since my mama is my cooking inspiration, I loved getting to have her there for some great suggestions to the ideas that were in my head.

For the contest, I had to submit the ingredients, step-by-step directions, a 250 word essay about the inspiration behind the dish, and pictures of the finished product.

I have always loved cooking and have dreamed of concocting a recipe from scratch that would somehow have the chance to be tasted by thousands. I've imagined myself on cooking shows, in magazines, on The Today Show's cooking segment- you name it, I've pictured it! So when this opportunity presented itself, I knew I had to jump on it!

My inspiration for cooking great dishes comes from my mom, who has taught me just about everything I know in the kitchen. When I shared my plan to enter the Maggiano's Best Italian Cook Contest with her, she squealed with joy and said without hesitation that she would love to be my sous chef!

Together, we worked to perfect the recipe that I had generated in my head on a long drive back from South Carolina one weekend. We measured and mixed, documented and diced, and tasted and tweaked until we came up with the perfect finished product. And while I am still unsure about the name, I am certain about the taste.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

2T butter, divided
2T Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), divided
1/4 cup minced shallots
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
8 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup diced tomatoes, drained
3T fresh sage, cut chiffonade, divided
1.5 tsp finely chopped elephant ear garlic
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 lb. fettucini
1/4 cup pasta water

Add 1T butter and 1T EVOO to pan. Saute shallots, garlic, and 2T sage for five minutes. Add heavy cream and chicken stock, and bring to a slow boil. Simmer for five minutes over medium heat. 

In a separate pan, combine remaining butter, EVOO, and balsamic vinegar. Bring to a slow boil. Add mushrooms, and tomatoes. Simmer on medium heat for five minutes, or until vinegar mixture is completely reduced. Once reduced, add to cream sauce.

In a separate pot, boil salted water and cook fettucini to al dente. Before draining the pasta, add 1/4 cup of pasta water to the cream sauce. 

Add drained pasta and remaining sage to the cream sauce and mix.

Garnish with sage leaf and fresh parmesan.

Individual Serving

Family Serving

So now the big question- Did I win?!


Was I a good sport about it?

Nope, can't say that I was.

In fact, when I opened the email that displayed the six recipe finalists, I said to Matt in total shock and disappointment, "Those don't even look good!"

Yeah, not my best moment.

However, I did come away with some great cooking memories with my mom and a yummy new recipe to add to the rotation. Plus, since then, I've started measuring and writing down some other impromptu creations, so I've learned the value of being able to recreate a good meal. So, all in all, I'm glad I participated- even if I didn't win. ;) 

The only thing its still missing is a name! Can you help me come up with one?!


  1. How about Creamy Sage and Portabella Fettucini? Can't wait to try this one- it looks delish!

  2. ahhh, you totally should have won!! this looks and sounds amazing! and i really want to try it! steve would love it. you're so sweet to share the recipe...thanks so much, heather!! xoxox