Some of the most fun I have cooking comes from inventing pasta dishes with satisfying sauces. Tonight’s dinner was one of those. I decided to create a mushroom-based vegetable sauce, with a decidedly woodsy flavor, and it worked out beautifully.
The key ingredients were the mushrooms (Shitake and Cremini), fresh Mexican asparagus, and a half of a large bulb of fennel, cut in medium dice. The sauce was enriched by onion, leeks and tomatoes, plus some herbs and white wine. The pasta was from Sfoglini, a Brooklyn, NY-based firm who make delicious and distinctive dried pastas. I had purchased mine from Food 52’s Provisions, but I now am able to buy it in the Boston area, too.
Here is the recipe.
The key to this dish is the long, slow braising of the mushrooms, onions and vegetables in the sauce. Don’t rush it, let the flavors develop while the pasta is cooking.
I started with the remainder of the Argiolas 2006 Costamolino from Sardinia, a good fit, and finished with Laura Aschero’s Pigato. A medium-bodied Italian red wine would also work.