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. 

Ingredients
1/2 box pasta, cooked to al dente

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

Vegan Green and Black Pasta

Pasta is universal. It transcends cultures. It's a blank canvas upon which we can layer any number of flavors from all around the world.

3 tbls olive oil
1/4 cup pasta water
5 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
1 jalapeno, minced
1 long hot pepper, thinly sliced on the bias
1 poblano, diced
1 habernero, minced
1 can black beans, rinsed
2 1/2 tsps salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsps oregano
2 tsps thyme

8 ounces linguine or similar dry pasta

I used to cook pasta the traditional way. Add it to boiling. salted water. Recently I started cooking it differently. Alton Brown has come up with a cold water method that I really like. It's easier and yields a more consistent result.

If you're not familiar with his method, he has documented his pasta cookery revelation on his blog.

While the pasta cooks, prepare your veg and beans and toss them into an appropriately sized vessel to hold everything.

When doing long pasta, I use tongs to remove it from the water. It's easy and efficient. It also makes it simple to retain the pasta water.

Drop your pasta right on top of your prepared veg. Add in liquids and spices. Stir or toss to mix everything together.

You can add a little more pasta water if your pasta isn't moist enough.

The hot salty water and the hot pasta will mix with the oil and the other ingredients to draw out the flavors and create a tasty coating of sauce on the noodles.