Rigatoni with Red Mushroom Gravy

This dish has great depth and intensity.  The varied textures of the different types of mushrooms and tomato was outstanding.  I will be putting this on the menu again soon.   They key ingredient to this dish was the truffle salt.  You can purchase it on line at:  http://www.thespicehouse.com/

1 ounce of dried Shitake mushrooms (or mixed variety)
1 1/2 cups of hot water
1 carrot, chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
3-5 Garlic Cloves, chopped
1 1/2 t dried thyme
1 1/2 t dried oregano
1 t basil
1 T Extra Virgin Olive oil
6 oz of fresh mushrooms
1 14 oz can of chopped tomatoes
2 T Tomato Paste
1/2 cup of Italian Red Wine
1 t truffle salt
1 pound of Rigatoni Pasta

Put the dried mushrooms in a bowl and cover with the 1 1/2 cups of filtered hot water.  Let mushrooms sit for 20 minutes.

Place olive oil in a non stick pan over medium heat.  Add the carrots, celery, onion, thyme, oregano and basil and cook for approximately 5 minutes or until soft.  Remove Shitake mushrooms from water and reserve liquid.  Add the dried and fresh mushrooms, tomato paste, and chopped tomatoes, to the carrot/celery mixture, stirring until mushrooms are soft.  Add the reserved mushroom liquid and red wine.  Bring the liquid to a simmer and let reduce for approximately 10 minutes.   

Cook pasta according to package directions.  

Add truffle salt to the mushroom gravy and stir to incorporate.  Serve mushroom gravy immediately over hot cooked pasta.

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