Monday, August 19, 2013

DaVinci Pasta Sauce

If you've ever been to The Cheesecake Factory, no doubt you know about their extensive selection of meal choices and their desire to accommodate your eating preferences.  It's not somewhere our family typically eats, but we happened to be there a few weeks back and my husband, who has the knack for always picking the best possible option, ordered the DaVinci Pasta, sans chicken.

Once again, he struck it rich where flavor was concerned.  Rich and complex, subtly sweet and wholesome all at the same time.  It was incredible. So once again I set out to recreate the dish, but in a healthier way.  I scoured the internet for look-a-like recipes, settled on the 2 that looked the most promising, merged them together and "healthified" the whole thing.  Scot thoroughly enjoyed my rendition, and really, that's all that matters, but in case you'd like to try it, too, here's the recipe.

DaVinci Pasta Sauce
serves 4

  • 3/4 cup sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup marsala or madeira wine (cooking wine is just fine)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth 
  • 2 1/2 - 3 cups whole wheat penne or rotini
  • 8 oz chopped baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 TBLS minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 TBLS brown sugar
  • 2 TBLS fresh chopped cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste
-- Caramelize onions, sauteing them for 15-20 minutes until they are nice and golden brown and, well, caramelized
-- Reduce wine and broth by mixing and boiling them for about 10-12 minutes.  Remove from heat.
-- Boil pasta according to directions
-- Meanwhile, start sauteing mushrooms.  Once soft (10 minutes about) add onions and garlic and saute 3-5 minutes.
-- Add reduction, milk, cilantro and sugar.  Simmer 5 minutes.
-- Drain pasta and add into the sauce and stir to coat. 
-- Season with salt and pepper to taste

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