Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Penne with Mushroom Sauce

This pasta is a delicious hearty entree - serve it with glasses of the leftover red wine you use for cooking in the sauce. I chose an organic chianti which paired beautifully.

To begin, melt a tablespoon of vegan butter (such as Earth Balance) in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup finely chopped onion, 1/4 cup finely chopped celery, and 1/4 cup finely chopped carrot; saute for 5 minutes.

Stir in 1 and 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add 1 cup dry red wine of your choice and cook for 10 minutes - the liquid should be almost all evaporated.

Here, the recipe called for adding a 10-and-1/2-ounce can of beef consomme (that should have a French accent over the "e"), which is a slightly clearer mixture than a broth because it has been filtered. I don't think they make vegetable consomme, so using regular vegetable broth is a fine alternative. So stir in 10-and-a-half ounces vegetable broth, along with 1/8 tsp. dried thyme, and 1/8 tsp. black pepper; bring the mixture to a boil, then cook until reduced to a cup (about 3 minutes).

Strain through a sieve over a bowl, and discard the solids. I actually mistakenly had 1 and 1/2 cups 'consomme' mixture left over instead of 1 cup, because I misjudged how far down it had reduced, but I shrugged off the difference. Set the 'consomme' aside.

Melt another tablespoon of vegan butter over medium-high heat, this time in a saucepan. Add 1, 8-ounce package of pre-sliced mushrooms and saute for 5 minutes. Add the 'consomme' mixture, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Whisk 1 teaspoon cornstarch into 1 tablespoon water. Add to the mushroom broth, along with 1/8 tsp. salt; return to a boil and cook for 1 minute.

Combine the mushroom sauce in a large bowl with 4 cups cooked (8 ounces uncooked) penne pasta - cook the pasta while you're making the sauce mixture so that it's ready on time! I used the penne from Whole Foods' house brand.

Ladle 1 cup of pasta into each of 4 bowls; each serving is 310 calories. Flat-parsley sprigs make a pretty garnish, if you like.

onion $1.29
carrot $0.16
tomato paste $1.50
red wine $13.99
vegetable broth $1.49
sliced mushrooms $2.49
penne pasta $1.99

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy http://www.wholesoyco.com/
  • Vegan milk - Silk http://www.silksoymilk.com/
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia http://www.sunergiasoyfoods.com/
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods http://www.galaxyfoods.com/
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G http://www.ener-g.com/
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance http://www.earthbalance.net/product.html