I love mushrooms, but so often, they are part of a dish, rather than the star of a dish. I have been making this pasta dish for a few years now (originally from Cooking Light), especially perfect when you want a meatless dish but still want really full, strong flavors. The wine is just perfect and really adds to the comfort factor of this pasta. The recipe below is edited from the original, but you can find the original here.
Penne with Mushroom Sauce (adapted from Cooking Light)
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup finely chopped carrots
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
10.5 ounces beef broth (or good vegetable broth)
1 (8 ounce) package button mushrooms, sliced
1 (8 ounce) package cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
4 cups hot cooked whole wheat penne rigate
Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley, for serving
1. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Add in onion, celery, and carrot; stir/saute for 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste; cook 2 minutes, stirring continually.
3. Add in wine; cook for 10 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Stir in thyme, pepper, and broth; bring to a boil; cook until reduced to 1 cup (about 3 minutes).
4. Strain through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids.
5. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a pan over medium-high heat. Add in mushrooms; stir/saute for 5 minutes. Add in broth mixture and bring to a boil.
6. Lower heat, and simmer 5 minutes.
7. Combine water and cornstarch, add to mushroom mixture along with salt; bring to a boil.
Cook 1 minute or under the sauce has thickened enough to coat.
8. Combine pasta and sauce; tossing gently to coat. I top mine with parmesan cheese and a bit of chopped parsley.
A few notes - (1) I use whole wheat pasta, but regular semolina pasta is fine; (2) The addition of any other type of mushrooms is great, I add creminis, but wild mushrooms would also be excellent - you could even add more than the amount that I did; (3) to make this dish truly vegetarian, use vegetable broth instead of beef broth - homemade is the best! find my recipe here; (4) if you find the sauce to be too thick, just add a bit more liquid - its no problem. (5) feel free to add chicken, not vegetarian anymore, but its a delicious addition to the recipe.