Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pasta Marinara with Beef and Shitake Mushrooms

Presto Pasta Nights starts year three and what is better than whipping up my favorite tomato-based pasta dish. I don't claim I cook the best pasta dish but in my own repertoire of pasta dishes, this pasta is one of those I do best.

Ever since I got used to using canned tomatoes (main ingredients: tomatoes, sea salt) for making my own pasta sauce, I have long forgotten Prego-alike sauces which is generally too high in sodium.

Pasta Marinara with Beef and Shitake Mushrooms
Ingredients: chopped garlic, fresh shitake mushrooms sliced thinly, ground beef, sliced onions, some butter, olive oil, 1 can of diced tomatoes, salt, freshly ground black pepper, dried oregano and basil, some stock/water if sauce is too dry

1. Cook pasta accordingly to instructions. (Note: I like my pasta al-dente and do not like to overcook my pasta. I prefer to leave the remaining of the al-dente pasta cooked in a pan when I toss them with the sauce later)
2. In a lightly oil pan of olive oil, add in onions. Then add in some butter. Saute till onions are slightly soft, then add in garlic. Saute further.
3. Add in mushrooms and tomatoes, mix well. Let it simmer.
4. Add in ground beef and mix well with the ingredients (Note: I do not like to add in the ground beef too early. This is to prevent overcooking of beef and leading to rubbery texture). Add some stock/water if too dry.
5. At this time, the onions, garlic and other ingredients are cooked and soft. Add in seasoning and herbs and mix well.
6. When ready to serve, add in the pasta and toss well with the sauce in the pan. This will ensure the slightly uncooked pasta absorbs the sauce and complete the cooking in the pan. Then the texture of the pasta is just right.

Bon-Appetito! ^0^

This pasta goes to Ben of What's Cooking.

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