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One of my dreams is to travel to Italy and visit the Province of Parma the place where the king of cheese was born: “Parmegiano Reggiano”. Here a recipe that incorporates this ingredient but that is also a wonderful vegetarian option.
- 1 box of your favorite pasta (could be whole grain if desired)
- ½ box of baby portabella mushrooms (cut in halves also known as crimini mushrooms)
- 1 can of tomato puree
- 1 can of tomato cut in petite cubes (can be replaced with fresh tomato cubes)
- 1 bunch of fresh parsley
- 3 garlic gloves (finely chopped or minced)
- ½ glass of red wine
- Grated parmesan cheese (preferably parmigiano reggiano for richer flavor)
- Italian olive oil, Italian spices, pepper and salt
Preparation time: 20 minutes. Makes 4 generous servings. Approximate cost per person $2.00 depending on ingredients market price. You will need a pan for cooking and straining pasta, and another one to prepare the sauce.
Fill your pan for cooking the pasta with water and a pinch of salt; I prefer not to add oil as pasta will absorb better the sauce. Let the water boil and then add the pasta, be careful in not over cooking pasta should be served al dente. While this process is going on, cut the baby portabellas in halves, chopped the garlic and the fresh parsley finely. In a pan add olive oil wait till it becomes hot, add garlic salt, pepper and the Italian spices, then add the baby portabellas and some of the parsley (keep some to sprinkle for serving). Move and add the tomato sauce and the tomato in cubes. Let simmer, add the red wine and reduce; taste and add salt if needed. This sauce the longer it cooks the better. Just make sure to have your flame on low. When sauce has become thick and flavor has developed add the warm cooked pasta and incorporate, let it simmer for few seconds. Serve hot, dust with parmiggiano reggiano and sprinkle with fresh parsley. You can accompany with a nice a Pinot, Beaujolais, Chilean read or a good Italian red “Chianti” and garlic bread.
In the food I have in my repertoire I like to have vegetarian options, portabella mushrooms are a great replacement for meat and go very nice with red wine and tomato sauce. It is like having meaty pasta without the meat and very satisfying.