Cooking, for me, has become a type of therapeutic activity. When I step into the kitchen i remove myself from anything on my mind and devote myself completely to culinary alchemy. It might sound a little odd but I believe in positive intention and as my mother says: Its an experience, learn from your steps. Heeding her advice, I think its best to do things mindfully - simple acts like enjoying the season and what it has to offer.
This recipe was made for my mother in mind. She loves the addition of wine in cooking but I wanted to make a completely plant based dish full of nutrients and flavor. There in mind came a bolognese sauce which I know she enjoys. For this dish I made my own tomato sauce based and oh-my-gosh making your own tomato sauce is infinitely better than the store brought. I also mixed in some lightly sautéed oyster mushrooms to give it texture and "meatiness." This decadently tasting and make sure get a good red wine because it adds so much distinct flavor.
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup chopped mushroom of choice (I used baby bella)
1/2 cup chopped eggplant
3/4 cup of chopped organic kumato, or a cherry/grape tomato or diced tomato
1/2 cup of organic red wine like Pinot Noir
2 cloves of garlic
2 sprigs of rosemary, remove from stems and finely chop the leave
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4th cup pasta water, water or no sodium veggie broth
pinch of white or black pepper
- To save time and speed clean up chop up all veggies and place them on a cutting board or plate
- Heat a saucepan or dutch oven on medium heat and add olive oil, add the diced yellow onion and a pinch of salt and pepper and then add the mushrooms
- Cook until onion and mushrooms have lightly brown and softened
- Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan then add 3/4 cup of chopped kumato or tomato of of choice, eggplant, carrot and mince the garlic, rosemary and dried oregano, extra pinch of salt and pepper
- Continue cooking on medium heat until the all the veggies soften, stir and add a little more olive oil if needed, about 15-20 minutes
- Remove veggies from saucepan, transfer to a blender and pulse but dont overdo it, you want a little texture but make sure veggies get processed. Taste to to see if you need more salt, pepper, or want to puree it more
- In another pot, begin cooking the Banza pasta (I used Rotini) or pasta of choice, cook according to the box instructions and drain.
- Meanwhile in the saucepan, add the red wine with the heat turned up to medium high, you want the red wine to reduce by half. This can take up to 10 minutes. After the wine has reduced, lower to medium low heat and add the veggie sauce you blended back into the saucepan and 1/4 cup of water or veggie broth. Stir while it simmers for about 10-15 minutes.
- This is optional but after I finished the sauce, I chopped several oyster mushrooms and lightly cooked them over medium heat with olive oil and salt + pepper
- Add the pasta to a serving dish and ladle the sauce. Serve accordingly, and top with the cooked oyster mushrooms