I know it’s winter, but I crave tomatoes all year long. So I find ways to cook with them even though it is not seasonally correct. This sauce is as pure and flavorful as a tomato sauce should be, but you must start with good canned tomatoes (I like the San Marzano tomatoes best). The excitement comes from the mushrooms, which add earthy warmth to this perfect cold weather dish. You can use all sorts of mushrooms, including garden-variety white mushrooms. But I prefer to mix different varieties, such as trumpet, shiitake, and maitake, to keep things interesting. For this recipe, try to find pappardelle, a long, ribbon-shaped pasta with zigzag edges to catch the silky sauce.
Serves 8 as a side dish or 4 as a main course
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, minced
2 garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup heavy cream or half and half (optional)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound homemade or store-bought pappardelle (or other wide pasta)
1 pound assorted wild mushrooms, washed well (see Dana’s Cooking Tips)
Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
1. In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over low heat and sauté the shallot and garlic until fragrant and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the white wine, increase the heat to medium, and simmer until the wine has reduced by three-quarters, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and rosemary and continue cooking until the sauce has thickened, about 15 minutes. Add the broth and cook until thickened slightly, about 10 more minutes. Stir in the cream, if desired; simmer for one more minute, and season with salt and pepper.
2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
3. Transfer the sauce to a blender and, carefully holding a towel over the lid to prevent splattering, blend the sauce; keep warm.
4. Cook the pasta in the boiling water until it is tender but still al dente; drain (do not rinse) it and set aside.
5. While the pasta is cooking, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over high heat and sauté the mushrooms until they are golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Season them lightly with salt and pepper.
6. Add the tomato sauce and pasta to the skillet, tossing to blend. With a large
serving fork, twirl the pasta and transfer it to serving bowls. Top each portion with extra sauce and grated Parmesan cheese.
Recipe reprinted from Summertime Anytime (Clarkson Potter, May 2008)
Go vegan with Spaghetti with Tofu Bolognese Sauce.