Wild Mushroom Pasta

I'm a big fan of Good Eats and Alton Brown. I've learned a lot from him. So when he suggested that dried exotic mushrooms were an umani flavor bomb I took to amazon to procure some. 

When you only cook with and eat plants, sources of deep and real flavor are important. 

His advice was spot on. I got a dried exotic mushroom mix and used it in my pressure cooker to create a sauce/broth for pasta and even though I forgot to add olive oil, it still had tons of flavor. 
After the pressure cook was finished I added the oil I forgot and cooked it off for a  few minutes. I then stirred it into my precooked pasta. Let it rest 5 minutes to tighten up. It was a perfect sauce to enrobe my pasta. . 

Dried exotic mushrooms are not cheap. But if you don't eat/cook with animal products, they feel like a bargain. There's so much flavor to be had. It's worth it and then some. 

1/2 box pasta, cooked to al dente

2 ounces dried fancy mushroom mix, big pieces broken or diced
1 pint …

Vegan Italian Stew

I love roma tomatoes. When you roast them in the oven they provide such great sweetness and acidity. They are the foundation for my ultimate Italian vegan stew.

5 oven roasted roma tomatoes, chunked
5 cloves roasted garlic, chunked
1/4 cup diced celery, mostly leaves
1/4 cup red onion, spanish onion or roasted leeks, diced
2 ribs from jalapeno, 1 from habernero
2 tbls jalapeno/serrano/habernero mince
1/2 can black olives, including liquid
1 can black beans, thoroughly rinsed
1/2 cup dry white rice
1/3 cup red wine
1 tbl olive oil
rosemary, thyme, basil, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, paprika, salt, pepper

Begin by heating oven to 425 F and roasting tomatoes and garlic on a baking sheet for 12 minutes. Turning once in the middle.

Too a large sauce pot add celery, onion, pepper ribs and flesh, oil, wine. Add water to cover by 2 inches. Add a generous helping of salt and pepper.

When tomatoes and garlic have finished roasting in the oven lightly chunk and add to pot.

Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.

Add olives, rice, spices. Simmer covered for 15 more minutes.

Add beans. Continue simmering covered until rice is tender. A few more minutes.

This Italian inspired dish ticks all the boxes; sweet, salty, spicy, acidic. Both fresh and oven roasted veg, rice and beans all add an array of  textures.