Monday, September 23, 2013

Mushroom Linguini

Mushrooms are a fantastic meat substitute and one of Jon's favorite ingredients.  Add pasta and you have a great meat-less dish--great for you and great for the budget.  This dish is basically a vegetarian ragu or stroganoff-type pasta sauce packed with the robust, earthy and comforting flavors of fall: Mushroom Linguini.  Adapted from Williams and Sonoma's Cookbook Series 'FoodMadeFast'.
Skill level:  Sophomore Year.

Your biggest expense will be the mushrooms.  I use predominantly Porto Bellos and Shitake, but for budget reasons, you may want a package of regular button mushrooms to replace Shitake.  Make this meal when you are going to be home anyhow, because this is one of those meals that gets better once it has had time to sit.  Another way to save some money is to use a combo of dried thyme, oregano, and rosemary rather than buying  a bunch of fresh rosemary.  You can skip the spices, but it'll lose flavor.

Don't limit yourself to pasta--this ragu is great for potatoes, rice, couscous, or polenta.
Below, I have included the changes needed to make this vegan as well.

Save money. Skip the meat. Keep the flavor. 
Cost: under $15 / 3-4 servings

Large 12"  non-stick skillet
Large saucepan for boiling pasta
Chopping Board for garlic, onions, and mushrooms
Sharp knife
Wooden spoon

2 Tbls butter
3 Tbls olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, minced and chopped
1 fresh sprig rosemary (optional, but it adds flavor)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1-2 lbs Mixed fresh mushrooms
1 (14oz) Diced Tomatoes with juice
3 Tbls tomato paste
1 cup vegetarian, chicken, or beef broth 
1/3 - 1/2 cup half-and-half or light sour cream
Salt and Pepper
Parmesan Cheese

Cooked linguini, or any pasta you like.

1. Wash your hands.
2. Prep all of the ingredients:  mince the garlic, dice the onions, slice the mushrooms. 

3. Make your broth if you are using bouillon cubes instead of storebought broth.  Set aside.

4. Heat olive oil and butter over Medium heat.

5. Add the garlic and rosemary sprig.  Saute until fragrant, about 1-2 min.

6. Add the onions.  Saute until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes

7. Add your mushrooms.  Cook and stir frequently until they begin releasing some of their fluid.

8. Add diced canned tomatoes and their juice.  

9. Add the tomato paste and stir until well-combined.  

10. Add broth and let it all begin reducing until liquid begins to thicken, approx 10 minutes.

11. Add your half-and-half or sour cream and incorporate well.
12. Season with salt and pepper.

13. Serve on a bed of linguini and top off with parmesan cheese.

Make it VEGAN:
1. Omit the butter, use additional Tablespoon of olive oil in its place.
2. Use vegetarian broth only.
3. Skip the half-and-half or sour cream
4. Skip the parmesan. Can use soy-alternative cheese
5. Many of the spaghetti-like pastas should be vegan-friendly.  Or use couscous or potatoes.

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