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Vegetarian Surprise

>> Friday, March 30, 2007

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Today is Friday, and I am so glad the weekend is coming up. For the whole week, I have been trying to resolve some nonsense problems caused by the lengthy administration procedure. I am totally fed up with the whole thing, but it has finally been resolved. Now it is the time for me to relax and enjoy some good food! Like usual, whenever feeling uneasy or exhausted, I opt for vegetarian dishes as food remedy. Everyone knows vegetables are good and healthy, and I have had real craving for them lately.

And last night I got what I wanted – a delicious vegetarian pasta dish. Pairing the earthy flavor of mushrooms with the sweetness of tomatoes, the pasta is surprisingly beautiful. I also love the crunchy bite of pine nuts and the lovely aroma of thyme. This recipe is a keeper, and I will definitely make it again.

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Pasta with mushrooms, pine nuts, tomato and thyme

Adapted from Jason Viola’s recipe, appeared in Australian Gourmet Traveller April 2007.

Ingredients (serve 4)

400g fresh or dried fettuccine or tagliatelle

2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

25g dried porcini mushrooms

40g fresh mushrooms, sliced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

125ml white wine

1 tsp finely chopped long red chili

1 tsp of dried thyme

A handful of grape or cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped

20g – 30g pine nuts, roasted

Parmesan, to serve

Basil or fresh thyme to garnish


Olive oil

½ onion, chopped

400gm canned cherry tomatoes, puréed

Salt, sugar and pepper to taste


  1. Make the sauce first. Fry onion with olive oil over medium heat until soft. Add tomatoes and cook for 10 mins or until sauce is thickened. Season to taste with salt, sugar and pepper.
  2. Soak the porcini mushrooms with 1 cup of hot water for 15 mins. Squeeze out the excess water from the mushrooms, coarsely chopped. Reserve the soaking liquid.
  3. Heat oil, add garlic & thyme and cook until soft. Add chilli, mushrooms and cook for 3 mins. Add wine, reserved mushroom liquid and the tomato sauce. Simmer until the sauce thickens.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the pasta as per package direction. I used fresh pasta, which took 3-4 mins to cook.
  5. Add the chopped grape tomatoes to the sauce and heat through. Toss the pasta with the sauce. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and shaved parmesan. Serve immediately.


This dish is my entry to Presto Pasta Night, hosted by Ruth of Once Upon a Feast. Please hop over to her blog for the round up.


Meeta 3:44 PM  

That does look sooo good! With some of my fave ingredients I just have to give this a go!

Gattina 7:23 PM  

I missed you post... am glad that the lengthy adm was over.
I'll keep an eye on canned cherry tomatoes (here dominant by plump tomatoes), the fresh ones are really delicious! And fettuccine and mushroom are just like married cousins! Anh, you dish of pasta is absolutely beautiful, wish I was there :D

Sharmi 11:05 PM  

hey Anh, hope you are already enjoying your weekend!! This veg surprise looks really divine. I am a pure veggi and completely agree with the fact that there is no substitute to nice fresh veggis and fruits. have a nice weekend!!
Btw I would love to know more about your place, people and food there. I love travelling, learning different culture, the food and to learn about new things about the place so if time permits and if its ok with you I would like to know more on the places you have travelled and which is the best, to my id Hope you wont mind.


Asha 11:31 PM  

Even veg Pasta looks great when you cook it Anh!!Beautiful dish.

Ruth Daniels 11:49 PM  

Even though I'm a true carnivore, even I love the occasional vegetarian meal. This one really hits the spot.

Thanks for joining in Presto Pasta Night fun.

Patricia Scarpin 1:07 AM  

Anh, this is delicious!

I love it that you used thyme - sometimes I get stuck with basil. Not that it's a bad thing - I love it and grow it at home - but it's good to vary sometimes!

sher 1:41 AM  

What a beautiful picture--the colors are so vivid. I'm glad your problems are resolved, that can be too stressful. You chose the perfect way to relax--with a delicious bowl of pasta!

eliza 12:47 PM  

hi Anh,
this is my first time visiting your blog and i like what you have here! beautiful pictures and foods.

Sandeepa 2:33 PM are a great photographer and a cook.

Anh 6:54 PM  

Meeta, thanks dear.

Gattina, *hug*. Thanks for missing me. :D

Sharmi, wait for my email, ok? :)

Asha, thanks. I start to love veg dishes more now.

Ruth, thank you. I can't have my meal without vegies. But I am trying to incorporate more vegies in my diet now.

Patricia, yes I understand! I used basil too often as well. ;)

Sher, thank you. :)

Eliza, thank you for dropping by. You have a great blog, too.

Sandeepa, thanks for your sweet words! :D

Pankaj Gupta 12:22 AM  

hi ANH, u have a nice Vegeterian Blog.i appreciate this and u too.but do open it for everyone buddy--let us post our views on other blogs of u day..

burcu 3:22 AM  

Anh, I just had this for lunch. Delicious! Thanks for the recipe and appealing, beautiful pics.

simcooks 9:25 AM  

Your first picture looks like it came straight out of a magazine cover! Lovely!

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