- The first thing DH asked me after he took a bite of this last night was whether there was meat in it. Answer: No. But the texture is just like a very hearty meat sauce. And my kids, who won’t touch identifiable mushrooms, ate some. Which was awesome.
- The next thing he said was that it may be the best pasta sauce he’s ever eaten. Score, ladies and gentlemen. Score.
- It’s super easy, very fast, and uses stuff you probably already have in your pantry. And it’s healthy.
I cannibalized this recipe from one in the defunct Gourmet magazine, which I miss very much and wish like heck would come back on paper or the iPad (did you know the iPad version is dead too? Sad, sad, sad.). Their recipe had chicken and rosemary and arugula and whole tomatoes and fancy-schmancy gourmet mushrooms and seemed like a bigger pain than necessary. I didn’t want chicken last night. I don’t like arugula despite its current trendiness. God made chopped tomatoes in cans and boxes for a reason (have you seen the boxed chopped tomatoes? My new favorite thing–they are amazingly good). I am a tightwad. And I don’t keep rosemary in the house. So improvisation was necessary.
We had this with pappardelle pasta, which is my favorite noodle of all time. The kids think it’s fine and DH isn’t much for it. You can’t win them all. This would work well on ziti or rotelle or shells, too. I am having more for lunch today, and am already smiling thinking about it–it’s really yummy.
To make this, you need:
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 a small onion, diced (I like Vidalias, but whatever makes you happy will work)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
8 oz mushrooms, roughly chopped (I started with sliced button/white mushrooms and cut them into quarters).
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth (you can use water if you don’t have this, but the broth gives it a hint of extra yummy)
2 tsp dried basil, divided
1 28-oz can or box diced tomatoes, undrained
Pasta of your choice
Grated Parmesan cheese
Heat a large pan over medium heat and coat the bottom with the olive oil. Cook the onions until they’re soft but not brown–about 2 or 3 minutes if your pan is hot.
Stir in the mushrooms, garlic, salt, and pepper and cook until the mushrooms start to brown. They’re going to shrink and they’re going to give off their liquid. Do not panic. It’ll soak back up after a few minutes. When the mushrooms look like they’re starting to cook, stir in the chicken or veggie broth and let it go for a few minutes.
Once your mushrooms are brown, use the balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan (stir it in and scrape up all the yummy brown bits o’ goodness up and into the mushrooms). Cook until the vinegar is thick and sticky, which is only a minute or two.
Stir in the tomatoes, pepper, and 1 tsp of the basil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the sauce thickens up a little bit. Stir in the rest of the basil, adjust salt and pepper, ladle over your cooked pasta, and top with grated Parmesan.