Fresh Cherry Tomato Sauce with Linguini & Balsamic Crimini Mushrooms

As you all probably know by now, pasta is one of my favorite things to cook.  I have another variation of this type of sauce already up on my website using roma & heirloom tomatoes, but using cherry tomatoes gives it such a unique flavor and adds a lot of sweetness naturally from the tomatoes.  I love pairing this sauce with some hearty mushrooms and balsamic vinegar to really tie everything together and make the dish a little richer.  This sauce is pretty easy to make and stores well in the fridge, plus it also can be canned and stored in your cupboard for a while!

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First you’ll want to start off by roasting all the components to your sauce.  Preheat your oven to 350 F, and add your cherry tomatoes, onion, and garlic to a baking tray.  Drizzle in olive oil, and sprinkle with salt & pepper.  I chose to use multi colored cherry tomatoes, because I think it adds some more depth of flavor to the sauce, and you get a lot more sweetness from those orange and yellow tomatoes as well.  Once your veggies are prepped, place them in the oven for roughly an hour.  You want them to be wilted, but not burnt in any way.  Once everything is done roasting, add all of your tomatoes, garlic, onion, and the juice / remaining oil on the pan into a blender, and add a handful of basil.  Blend until completely smooth and then transfer to a pot over the stove and heat for about 10-15 minutes over low heat.

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These mushrooms are probably my favorite part of the whole dish, I swear I could eat an entire bowl of them on their own.  You’ll need a shallot, some garlic, crimini mushrooms, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and black pepper to make these.  Simply add your shallots and garlic into a pan with some olive oil over medium heat and allow to sweat for a few minutes.  I prefer using a cast iron pan when cooking mushrooms, because it gives a nice brown, crispy exterior to them and helps prevent them from going soggy from the vinegar / oil.  Once your shallots and garlic are good to go, add your mushrooms, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.  Toss to combine and allow to cook for another 10 minutes or so over medium heat, until the mushrooms have wilted and browned.

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Next you’ll want to cook your pasta.  I chose to use gluten free linguini, but you can really use any kind of pasta you’d like!  Cook them according to the package instructions in salted water, and then drain.  I’ve talked about this trick before, but I also do it with all my pasta dishes, it really acts like a glue and holds the sauce to the pasta.  Take a few dabs of vegan butter, and some vegan parmesan cheese and toss with the hot, freshly drained pasta until the butter has melted and everything is combined.  Next, add your sauce, and then toss to combine.  I usually find less is more when it comes to sauce, and especially if you’re making this for a large group of people.  Usually I put just enough sauce to lightly coat the pasta on it when mixing the whole thing, and then put a gravy boat of extra sauce on the table for anyone who wants a little extra!  Once serving, top this with some of those crimini mushrooms, some vegan mozzarella, & fresh basil!

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CHERRY TOMATO SAUCE

  • 1 lb multi colored cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 10-12 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 6 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs salt
  • 2 tbs black pepper
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
  2. Toss your cherry tomatoes, your peeled onion, and garlic cloves in the olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for about an hour, until everything is wilted.
  3. Transfer all ingredients, and remaining fresh basil into a blender and blend until completely smooth.
  4. Transfer to a sauce pot and heat over low heat for 10-15 minutes to reduce.

BALSAMIC CRIMINI MUSHROOMS

  • 1 lb. crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  1. Sweat your shallot and garlic in olive oil over medium heat for a few minutes until translucent.
  2. Next add your mushrooms and sautee for about 5 minutes before adding any other ingredients.
  3. Then add your balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper, and sautee for another 5-10 minutes until the mushrooms have browned.

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