After some research, I have decided to attempt a mainly plant based diet. It’s pretty hard for me to eliminate all animal products from my diet, however, I’m trying to make it the minority. And of course incorporate mostly vegetables and beans in their place. This is a dish that I have been wanting to make for a long time now because the main character here is the mushroom and I am a major FAN. Thankfully, there are dishes like this one that make it easy and delicious to eat vegetarian. The flavor in this sauce is incredible. It is an easy recipe that tastes complicated. So delicious.
I must say it took me a few trips to different markets to find the dried porcini mushrooms. That was a pain in the a$$ but totally worth it. Try not to exclude em. Also, I tried the sauce before I added the mascarpone cheese – just to see what it tastes like for that FULL VEGAN EXPERIENCE – and it was completely amazing without. YOU CAN TOTALLY OMIT IT. However, if you desire that creaminess and extra flavor, definitely add the mascarpone. What a difference it makes!
- 1 lb pasta of choice (cavatappi here)
- 1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
- 3 carrots, peeled & chopped
- 1 onion, peeled & chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded & chopped
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbs fresh oregano, chopped
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground pepper
- 6 ounces baby bella mushrooms, chop
- 1 portobello mushroom cap, chopped
- 2 tbs tomato paste
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Cook your pasta al dente. Reserve some of the cooking liquid from the pot for the sauce later on.
- Place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl with 1 cup very hot water. Set aside.
- Place the carrots, onion, bell pepper and garlic in your food processor and pulse for 5 seconds (you want them finely chopped but still chunky). See pic below.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. When hot, add to the pan the vegetables, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes or until tender. Next, add the porcini mushrooms (reserving the liquid for later), the fresh mushrooms and tomato paste to the pan. Stir to incorporate all and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Next, add the reserved porcini mushroom liquid and red wine to the pan. Bring sauce to a boil, reduce heat to low, and let it simmer for an additional 8-10 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in the mascarpone cheese until JUST incorporated. If necessary, add some reserved pasta liquid to the sauce to loosen it up. Toss sauce with pasta and grated parmesan and serve immediately.
Yields 4-5 servings.
Recipe adapted from Food Network.