April 15, 2014

Pasta with Mushroom Marinara

It's not even 24 hours into Passover and I'm craving carbs, so I decided to continue my 18-year streak of not keeping Kosher by eating bread. And pasta. And cookies. I'm so good at this whole no-flour-or-leavening-just-matzo-and-sadness thing. Since I clearly failed already, I decided to just go with it and eat as usual, but I'd like to try to respect the laws of Judaism and make something that's at least Kosher on a regular (non-Passover) day, meaning no pork, shellfish, or mixing meat and dairy. Luckily, this recipe is accidentally vegan, so I don't have to worry about any of that.

We've all seen Rachael Ray work her 30-minute magic in the kitchen. She plans and executes this lovely multi-course meal in less time than it takes for me to get out of bed in the morning. It's a lie. She has an army of sous chefs and dishwashers and food stylists and probably half the workers of New York City hiding in the studio. It probably takes the average person twice as long to cook the same meal, but I promise that this recipe is ready to eat in 30 minutes or less.

Your inner Italian grandma may question how a marinara sauce--which is supposed to take hours to simmer into tomato-y heaven--can be ready in under 30 minutes. To be honest, I'm not entirely sure. It just kinda works. It's full of earthy mushrooms bathed in bright fresh tomatoes as well as crushed tomatoes with a good splash of red wine to enhance the flavors. It's not the prettiest dish you'll ever make, but a generous spoonful of parmesan cheese makes it all better. You won't even know it's vegetarian or vegan, and it will make you feel better about breaking Passover. Unless you haven't. In that case, spoon this on some matzo and you won't even miss bread.

1 lb Pasta
1 Yellow Onion, Diced
3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 lb Sliced Baby Portobello Mushrooms
½ tsp Thyme
½ tsp Basil
½ tsp Oregano
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Onion Powder
2 Cups Diced Fresh Tomatoes
⅓ Cup Red Wine
1 T Tomato Paste
1 28 oz Can Crushed Tomatoes
2 tsp Sugar
Parmesan Cheese

Heat some oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms, thyme, basil, and oregano and cook until the mushrooms begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender. Stir in the wine, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, and sugar. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta until al dente. Toss with the sauce and serve with the parmesan.

Serves 6
Recipe Adapted from Bake Your Day

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