Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sunday Lunch - Pasta with Tomatoes, Onions, and Mushrooms

This is Dan:

(Isn't he handsome?)

Dan and I have been lucky enough to have Sundays off together for the past few weeks. Today we didn't have any obligations so we've been lazing around the kitchen table.

Now, you may remember the time I wrote about breakfast. That hasn't been working out. I'm trying. I'm getting closer. But even if I'm up at ten I find myself filling my morning with other things that are not breakfast. One day...

So today we didn't have breakfast, but Dan was eventually hungry and began searching through the fridge. Since I've become obsessive about ingredient lists and fresh produce, we haven't had many things on hand that Dan can easily consume (this is out of love, really). I told him what was available and he immediately settled on pasta. He would be happy if I just gave him a big bowl of pasta with nothing else in it and a hunk of cheese. But I insisted that some kind of produce be included in lunch. So I whipped up a quick sauce to go with our penne.

Chop everything up before you turn the heat on for the pasta water.

Don't be fussy. It's lunch. Long slices of onion are delicious and the tomatoes melt very quickly. I cheat and buy my mushrooms already sliced.

Now turn on the heat under the pot of water and begin to bring it to a boil. Salt it if you want. After that, start heating the oil and some red pepper flakes in a nonstick skillet.

Once that's beginning to sizzle, throw in your onions. Toss them to coat and sprinkle them with some salt. Cook them until they start to turn brown.


Add some garlic and stir until fragrant. Then add in that tomato.

Let that cook down for a little while and then add a some white wine. When the tomatoes are breaking apart, add the mushrooms.


Cook them for a few minutes until they begin to get soft. Then drop the heat down to low to let everything simmer until the pasta's ready. If you need to, you can add a tablespoon or two of chicken broth to loosen things up if it starts to dry out.

When your pasta is ready, reserve about a cup of the cooking liquid, drain it and let it sit for a moment while you finish the sauce. Turn the heat up to medium low and add a tablespoon of butter.


Stir the butter to combine and season to taste with salt, pepper, and parsley (I only had dried, but I would have preferred fresh).

Add the pasta and toss it to combine. If it's sticky and not coating well, add a little bit of that reserved cooking liquid. Only use a splash at a time, otherwise you'll end up with watery sauce.

Serve with some freshly grated pecorino romano or parmigiana (I chose to grate them as thick shavings) and a little more parsley.

The sauce is very light with gooey pieces of tomatoes, earthly mushrooms, and onions that are both crunchy and succulent. 

A delicious lazy Sunday lunch or a quick midweek dinner sauce.

Serves 2

1 Tbs olive oil
dash red pepper flakes
1/2 large onion - sliced
2 garlic cloves - minced or pressed
1 tomato - halved and sliced
1/8 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup mushrooms (whatever you have on hand, I used baby bellas)
2 Tbs chicken broth (if needed)
1 cup reserved pasta water
salt, pepper, and parsley to taste
grated cheese

Prep all your vegetables.

Fill medium-large pot with salted water and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil and red pepper flakes in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. When the red pepper flakes are beginning to sizzle, add onions. Saute them until they start to brown, 5-8 minutes. Add garlic and stir until the garlic becomes fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the tomatoes, stir, and cook for 3-5 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add the white wine, stir to incorporate. Allow to cook 1-2 minutes.

Add the mushrooms, cook for about five minutes. Let them cook longer if they don't feel cooked all the way through.

Drop heat to low and simmer until the pasta is ready.

Reserve one cup of cooking liquid and drain the pasta. Leave the pasta in the collander while you finish the sauce.

Raise heat to medium once again. Add butter and stir to combine. Then stir in salt, pepper, and parsley to taste.

Add the pasta to the pan and stir to coat.

Serve with freshly grated cheese and some more parsley.

1 comment:

  1. I loved this recipe. It's quick, easy, and a healthy dinner ( I would probably use butter spray instead of butter for my husband's heart health). This recipe, along with the vegetarian chili is a great way to reduce meat products in your diet especially when health issues are a concern. Both recipes would also be great with a bit of grilled chicken. Keep cooking girl!