Super Mushroom Pasta with Roasted Garlic & Basil
The weather outside has finally cooled down, after a few 90-degree days in a row which sapped the life out of us and the dog. We are also about to host various family over the next couple of weeks, which should throw our cooking and posting schedules into chaos. I knew that would be the case, so I wanted to cook one awesome meal for just us before the circus begins. Enter the “Super” mushroomy pasta. This sauce resembled more of a dark gravy than a typical tomato sauce, and the mushroom, tomato, basil, and garlic flavors truly leapt from the bowl.
We had a number of things left over from previous meals (fresh basil, dried Porcini mushrooms, extra garlic heads, linguine noodles) and I wanted to really up the umami-laden mushroom flavor, so I went out and bought a few portobello mushroom caps to go along with the Porcinis. A head of garlic roasted in the oven while the sauce came together, and the bowls were topped with some chopped chives from our garden. Fresh, healthy, and above all else, delicious!
Super Mushroom Pasta with Roasted Garlic & Basil (Serves 4)
- 1/4 cup dried Porcini mushrooms, reconstituted in 1 1/2 cups hot water, chopped finely, soaking liquid reserved
- 1 cup coarsely chopped portobello mushrooms (about 3 large caps)
- 1 whole garlic head
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3/4 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves, chopped (about 1/2 bunch)
- 1 lb. linguine noodles
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 2 tbsp. cooking sherry (or any white wine)
- crushed red pepper
- extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt
- grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
- small handful chopped chives, for garnish (about 6-7 chives, optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line baking sheet with foil, and spray with cooking spray. Slice top 1/4 of garlic head off, and drizzle olive oil into the open cloves. Bake for 45 minutes, remove from oven, let cool slightly, remove individual cloves with a fork, and mash into a paste. Set aside.
- While garlic is roasting, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, crushed pepper, and a large pinch of salt. Cook gently for 10-15 minutes or until onion is just starting to turn brown. Add portobellos and more olive oil if necessary, and cook for another 15 minutes.
- Once most of liquid cooks down, add Porcinis, soaking liquid and sherry. Scrape pan to loosen any browned bits, and turn heat up to high. Boil for 5 minutes, and add tomatoes and sugar, returning to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook another 15 minutes.
- Boil salty water in a large pot and cook pasta according to box directions until pasta is just short of “al dente”. Set aside.
- Remove lid from sauce, mix in the mashed garlic, and season to taste with salt. Right before serving, turn the heat off and stir in all of the basil. Divide pasta evenly in bowls, top with sauce, grated cheese, and chives. Serve immediately.