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Help me simplify this recipe, please.


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Home Cooking

Help me simplify this recipe, please.

CindyJ | | Aug 19, 2011 06:53 AM

This was fairly simple to begin with, but I did it in two separate steps which I'm certain can be combined. I just need a bit of direction (and maybe some reassurance).

I prepared a mushroom tomato sauce for pasta. Here's what I did:

STEP 1: I had fresh San Marzano tomatoes which I skinned (blanched briefly, immersed in ice water, etc.), removed the cores and quartered. Heated some olive oil, added the tomatoes, a small amount of salt and dried oregano, and cooked them down a bit. When they softened, I crushed them with a potato masher (a Scott Conant technique I've used before) and let them simmer briefly.

STEP 2: In a separate pan I heated some olive oil and butter, added some chopped garlic, then added a variety of fresh, sliced mushrooms (crimini, shitake, royal trumpet and oyster) along with some rehydrated porcinis which I'd chopped. I added some thyme and cooked the mushrooms until they were nicely browned. I added some white wine and simmered it until most of the wine had evaporated. Then I added the tomatoes to the pot with the mushrooms along with some of the water the porcinis had soaked in, and let the whole thing simmer for about 45 minutes. The finished sauce was delicious.

However, I've got to believe I could have done this all in one pot instead of two. The reason I didn't simply add the uncooked tomatoes to the mushrooms was because I wasn't sure how to break them down. And this is really the gist of my dilemma. I didn't want to crush the tomatoes in the pot containing the mushrooms because I didn't want to crush the mushrooms. And I thought I'd be sacrificing the texture of the tomatoes if I crushed them before cooking and added them to the pot raw. Conversely, adding the raw mushrooms to the pot with the tomatoes didn't make any sense to me at all because they couldn't brown properly.

So my question is, what would have been the best way for me to end up with the same delicious, beautifully textured sauce without having to use two separate pots?

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