Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Pasta with vegan pesto and mushrooms

This recipe is super garlicky and not for the faint of heart. To make it a bit friendlier decrease the amount of garlic in the pesto.
2 cups tightly pressed fresh basil
2 heads of garlic
1 pint cherry tomatoes
Olive oil
3 cups assorted mushrooms (I used shitake and cremini, but you can use portobello, white, oyster, etc.)
Fresh long pasta (I used fetuccine from St. Lawrence Market)
Salt and pepper to taste
Dehydrated garlic to taste
1 oz cooking sherry

There are 2 parts to this recipe, the pesto, which is raw, and the pasta with mushrooms.

To make the pesto:
Finely chop the tomatoes or chop them in the food processor. Add some salt and leave them in a strainer to get rid of the excess water.
After about 10 minutes, the tomatoes will be rid of their excess water. Put them back in the food processor along with the basil and the peeled cloves of one head of garlic. You can also add about one teaspoon of dehydrated garlic if you want. Chop finely.
Pesto ingredients
When all the ingredients are finely chopped in the food processor, add about 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. This will give the pesto its saucy consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

To make the pasta and mushrooms:
Chop the mushrooms and the cloves of 1 head of garlic.
Stir fry the chopped garlic in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, when the garlic is softened, add the mushrooms and keep stir frying. Add salt and pepper to taste. When mushrooms are cooked (about 4 minutes) add one shot of sherry. Cover and let boil for about 1 minute.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in lots of salted water according to instructions. The fresh pasta from St. Lawrence Market takes about 4 minutes to be al dente.
When pasta is ready, toss it into the warm soupy mushrooms (my pasta looks red because I got tomato pasta).
Pasta tossed with mushrooms
Let the pasta absorb the mushroom juices for about 1 minute.
Serve in a big spaghetti bowl. Add the pesto on top.
Pasta with vegan pesto and mushrooms
Enjoy, and be careful with all that garlic. No, seriously, I was kind of crying at the end of my dinner. But it was goood!