Pasta with Red Wine and Mushroom Sauce

This is a recipe concocted by my husband (who is an amazing cook, by the way), and if you love mushrooms, you have to try it!  It’s quick, easy, cheap, and delicious, so if you aspire to be more handy in the kitchen, this is a good dinner recipe to help you cultivate your interest in cooking.  It can be served as an entrée or a side dish, and it pairs well with just about anything, including the rest of the bottle of red wine!

Makes two large or four small servings.

8 ounces of shiitake mushrooms (or some other kind of meaty mushrooms, such as white button, cremini, or portobello, which, by the way, are all variations of the same kind that are aged differently)

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

4-5 tablespoons of cold butter, separated

olive oil (butter can be substituted)

8 ounces of your choice of pasta (farfalle, linguine, and campanelle are my favorites for this dish)

3 tablespoons of tomato paste

3/4 cup red wine


1/2 – 1 cup of reserved pasta water

fresh parsley and Parmigiano Reggiano for garnish

Cut or quarter your mushrooms into chunks no less than 1/2 of an inch in size.  Meanwhile, heat a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the packaging directions.  Begin to make the sauce when you drop the pasta in the boiling water by placing a large sauté pan over high heat.  Coat the pan with about one tablespoon of butter (or olive oil), and when it’s good and hot, add your mushrooms and sprinkle with about 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  The high heat will allow the mushrooms to cook quickly so that the moisture they release is instantly evaporated, and they stay in a more substantial form, rather than become too soft.  After the mushrooms have released most of their moisture (about 4-5 minutes), turn the heat down to medium-low and add the garlic.  Add a little extra oil, if needed, so that the garlic doesn’t burn, and cook for 2 minutes.  Push the mushrooms and garlic off to the side and add the tomato paste, stirring it for about 20-30 seconds – you want it to slightly cook, but not burn.  Next, mix together the mushrooms and the tomato paste, then stir in the red wine.  After the alcohol has evaporated and the liquid has reduced by at least one-half, turn the heat to low.  Add four tablespoons of cold butter in small amounts, one pat at a time, and simply swirl the pan to combine.  After the butter has melted, add about 1/2 cup of the pasta water to the sauce to thin it out, and remove it from the heat.  Toss the sauce with the pasta, adding more pasta water, if needed, so that the pasta is coated, but not dry.  Salt to taste.  Garnish with chopped parsley and freshly-grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

Since this dish isn’t particularly dense when it comes to nutrition, round out your meal with a large, tasty Mediterranean salad, with green leaf lettuce, Kalamata olives, scallions, chopped red peppers, tomatoes, feta, and a balsamic vinaigrette.  Oh, and don’t forget to pour yourself a large glass of that delicious red wine!

Leave a comment


  1. Miriam

     /  May 22, 2011

    Thanks for posting this recipe, it is just what I was looking for and I happen to have all of the ingredients on hand!

  2. Katie C.

     /  July 15, 2011

    I made this with angel hair and diced the mushrooms really fine before I realized my mistake. Even so, it was delicious. Rather like a very heart vegetarian beef stroganoff. Thank you!


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