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 Mushroom Risotto Recipe

Classic mushroom risotto, but vegan. I stuck with mostly traditional Italian ingredients.

I was really focused on making sure this had the same depth of flavor that is found in typical risotto made with chicken stock and Parmesan cheese.

This particular recipe is unique in that it doesn't use vegetable stock. I've always found that creates a very salty end product. Instead I used a some liquid from a can of garbanzos for salinity and depth. Fresh vegetables, tomatoes and flat leaf parsley round out the profile.

I don't, however, believe risotto needs to be fussy. It needn't be constantly stirred or tended. Just make sure to stir it often to release those starches.

The original concept was without tomatoes, but upon tasting the partially cooked dish, it was obvious that some acid was required. The tomatoes also add a pop of texture.

Vegan Mushroom Risotto Recipe

1 cup arborio rice
1 pint baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 can garbanzo bean liquid
1/2 cup white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup olive oil
water as needed

3 tsps salt
2 tsps black pepper
2 tsps thyme
2 tsps nutritional yeast
1 tsp crushed pepper flakes
1/2 bunch fresh parsley, stems discarded

Cook the mushrooms and onions in 2 tbsls of the olive oil and 1 tsps of the salt. When mushrooms are softened add 1/3 of the wine. Allow to cook down until mostly dried up. Add rice, 1 tbl oil. Toast the rice for several minutes. Stirring often. Deglaze with another third of the wine. Also add the garlic, garbanzo can liquid. Simmer until mostly dry.

Add 1 cup water, remaining salt, thyme, pepper flakes, black pepper. Simmer again until mostly absorbed.

Add remaining wine, oil., another cup of water, tomatoes, yeast, parsley.. Stir thoroughly. Simmer until liquid has become a thin sauce. Taste to test doneness on rice. It should be tender by now. Add more water if needed and simmer longer if required to finish rice.

Allow risotto to rest a few minutes to thicken the sauce.