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 …

Tomato Cream Sauce Ziti Vegan Recipe

I accidentally created one of my new favorite vegan recipes. I had no idea when I conceptualized it that it would turn out so rich, creamy and cheesy. I was honestly stunned by the results.

Silken tofu, chick pea aquafaba, pasta, red beans and a host of flavorful veggies come together in a near perfect confluence of culinary wizardry to create a sauce that looks, feels and tastes like it is made with heavy cream and ricotta cheese.

I am not exaggerating. In my mind I was transported back to the days when I used to eat baked ziti and pasta alfredo. If you're a vegan who misses cheese and dairy, this recipe will change your world!

1/2 box ziti or penne pasta

1 lb roma tomatoes, chunked
1 pint white mushrooms, sliced
1/4 large yellow onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 can red beans, reserve the liquid
1/2 cup chick pea can aquafaba
1/2 block silken firm tofu
1/4 cup white wine
2 tbls olive oil

2 tsps salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsps crushed pepper flakes
2 tsps oregano
2 tsps basil

Cook pasta to al dente. Set aside.

In a blender puree the tofu, chick pea aquafaba and a spoonful each of the red beans and onion. Set aside.

Saute mushrooms, tomatoes, onions and garlic in olive oil until mushrooms begin to darken and tomatoes begin to give up their juice. Add wine. Simmer 5 more minutes. Add remaining red beans, 1/4 cup red bean can liquid, spices, tofu mixture. Simmer until reduced by half. Stir in pasta. Simmer 2 minutes. Cover. Allow to rest in hot pot on warm burner for 5 more minutes.
Rest in fridge for at least a few hours. This step is critical. It allows all the starches and flavors to work their magic.

I usually eat all my food straight from the fridge. I almost never reheat my food in the microwave. I don't like what it does to the texture and flavor.

But if you let it sit on the counter for 15 minutes to take the chill off it has the perfect saucy, cheesy consistency and taste.

If you do choose to reheat it, I'm sure it'll be really good, but I can't promise it'll be as perfect as it was for me.