Sunday, February 1, 2009

Whole Wheat Pasta with Wilted Shallots, Mushrooms, and Fresh Mozzerella

Pasta makes a quick and easy lunch or dinner at the drop of a hat.  In restaurants, pasta dishes can be extremely costly, which is interesting seeing as it is generally one of the cheapest dishes for any kitchen to make.  Making pasta at home gives you the freedom to make it just how you like it.  The addition of a few different ingredients can make any pasta dish more interesting and much tastier.  

I always make my own sauce for my pasta, because there's not much more in the jarred sauces than tomato, salt, pepper, and maybe some herbs.  I can do that myself - cheaper and better.  From start to finish, this dish will take about 15 - 20 minutes.  Also known as dinner in a snap.

Whole Wheat Pasta with Wilted Shallots, Mushrooms, and Mozzarella

Served 2.
Leftover Potential: Keeps very well, re-heats perfectly.  Made 4 meals after the initial dinner.

1 lb whole wheat pasta

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 Tbsp tomato paste
15 oz. crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp basil, chiffonade
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 ball fresh mozzarella, cubed
pepperocini, as needed for garnish

1.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium high heat.  Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 5-7 minutes.  Drain and set aside.
2.  In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook until translucent.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
3.  Add the tomato paste.  Stir to combine.  Add the crushed tomatoes and simmer over low heat.  Season with basil, salt, pepper, and any other desired herbs.  
4.  Add the mushrooms and shallots.   Allow to cook until the mushrooms are soft and the shallots are wilted. 
5.  Add the pasta and toss to coat.  Add the fresh mozzarella, stirring to combine and distribute.  Turn off the heat.
6.  Serve in hot plates, topped with sliced pepperocini.

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