Saturday, June 6, 2009

Pasta with mushroom sauce

Recipe by request.

3/4 lb dry pasta
1/4 cup crumbled dried wild mushrooms (you can use porcini or those assorted wild mushrooms blends)
1-1/4 cups boiling water
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 teaspoon oregano and 1 teaspoon basil, or about 1 tablespoon each of chopped fresh basil/oregano
dash of salt
2 tablespoons flour
2/3 cup red wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce
black pepper to taste
chopped parsley and/or cheesey substance of your choice

Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl with the boiling water. While they soften, start sauteeing the onions. When they begin to soften, add the herbs, salt, and fresh mushrooms and continue cooking over medium heat. At this point, begin boiling the pasta water and cooking the pasta. When everything is soft in the saute pan, sprinkle in the flour, wine, and soy sauce. Stir and continue to simmer for a minute or two.

Place a coffee filter or paper towel in a strainer and drain the wild mushrooms, making sure to save the soaking liquid. Add the soaking liquid to the saute pan. Rinse the wild mushroom pieces, chop them finely, and add them to the pan. Simmer everything on low heat for about eight more minutes, until the sauce has thickened a bit.

Serve over the cooked pasta, topped with parsley or cheese.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

In which I try to poison my husband

I know my updates have been sporadic and incomplete lately. Many forces (work, social life, charity work, housework, The Wire) are in a tug-of-war for my time and updating my blog is not winning. I'll be updating when I can/ want to, but it probably won't be every week.

I've been trying a few new or so-old-they're-new recipes over the past few weeks. Last night we had pasta with mushroom sauce, which is deliciously rich and complex, but easy to make (and vegan). I think the secret is the generous amount of red wine. The alcohol burns off during cooking...or does it? If anyone wants the recipe, leave a comment.

I also made a broccoli-tofu stirfry with a hoisin-based sauce. Because I'm not sure if I like hoisin, I told the Mr. "I have to warn you that this sauce includes hoisin..." Before I could continue, he said, "POISON?? The sauce is POISON??" Heh heh.

Tonight I'm excited about going to see Bryant Terry, the author of Vegan Soul Kitchen, speak at our local library. Will they serve food in the library? I hope so but I'm skeptical. Does anyone have his cookbook? It's getting a lot of buzz around here.

I tend to be unduly hard on myself when I miss a workout or eat something that's not good for me. I got a dose of perspective when I was in a class last week. At the beginning of the class, they put out a plate of doughnuts, muffins, bagels, etc. People devoured them and got coke or coffee during the breaks. Then huge plates of cookies and brownies appeared each day after lunch, and people helped themselves to about 4 or 5 pieces each. At one time, I would have been carbo-loading right along with them. I'm not trying to sound judgmental, but watching their eating habits reinforced to me how far I've come in overhauling my diet. It feels good to be healthy.

PS: I'm now on Twitter.