Red pasta sauce with mushrooms question

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larry_stewart

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I know everyone will answer this differently and have their own technique or opinion, but I'm just curious.

When making a red sauce with basic ingredients (Olive oil, Onions, garlic, tomatoes, dried herbs ( oregano, basil..) salt, pepper, fresh basil, and you wanted to add sliced mushrooms or diced peppers. When would you add the mushrooms and peppers ? In he beginning when sauteeing he onions? or wait until after you've added he tomatoes? I know here is no rule, but just curious what others do or would do .

thanks
 

Aunt Bea

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I don’t like green peppers in a pasta sauce but I do use red bell peppers if I happen to have them.

I usually sweat the vegetables in olive oil and then add the tomatoes.

Finely crushed dried mushrooms add a lot of flavor to a red sauce. I add the dried mushrooms to the tomatoes.
 

Roll_Bones

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Very good question. Technique says saute them. Appearance says to add them near the end.
I have done it both ways. When adding them first and especially if this sauce is to simmer for awhile, they will practically disappear. So in this case I try to leave them whole or cut into large pieces.
When adding them later they do tend to hydrate the sauce and thin it down. So if I do add them near the end, I saute them in a fry pan then add them. Of course I de-glaze the pan as well and add these juices to the sauce.
 

larry_stewart

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Very good question. Technique says saute them. Appearance says to add them near the end.
I have done it both ways.
I've don it/ do it both ways too. My sauce never comes out exactly the same cause Im always flying by he seat of my pants, and using what I have available a the time.

I don’t like green peppers in a pasta sauce
Im also no a fan of green peppers in the sauce , to me it kinda hijacks the flavor of the sauce.
 

dragnlaw

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Way back when I actually used to make sauce - I used to add canned mushrooms. Was never a big fresh mushroom buyer then. So I would add them along with the tomato sauce.

In fact now, when using jarred sauces, I still like to add canned mushrooms. I really happen to like the texture of the canned mushrooms with it.

Don't shoot the messenger.... it is just how it is.
 

pepperhead212

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I just made a mushroom soup last night, and for sauces I like to use the same method - cook the mushrooms separately, while the sauce/soup is cooking, and add it later, and simmer briefly. The mushrooms seem to keep their flavor better, while simmered for a long time, while they seem to soften up way too much, and loose their flavor into the sauce. I usually use the dried mushrooms in the beginning (last night I didn't soak them early, so I added them later, which still worked well) - cook some onions in some olive oil, peppers, if that's the flavor I'm going for, and garlic and herbs towards the end, along with the minced up soaked and cleaned boletus or porcini, then add the strained soaking water (a LOT of flavor here), and boil it off. Then add the tomatoes, and simmer, while preparing the fresh mushrooms.

I found this method for cooking mushrooms on some ATK show one time - I don't remember the recipe, just the method! The mushrooms can be sliced, quartered, or whole (if smaller), and they are put in a large pan with a lid, with about 4 tb water (for a lb of mushrooms), then placed over high heat, with the lid, to steam them, shaking the pan a few times. Doesn't take long, and it doesn't matter if you wash them well with water! Remove the lid, and boil off the water, then add 2-3 tsp of oil or butter, and sauté them over med-high heat 6 or 7 minutes, until browned. Mushrooms do not absorb a lot of oil using this method, then releasing it, as they do when dry, but they still brown very well, giving me a good fond, which is never wasted!
 
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thymeless

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I'd probably start the mushrooms first before the onions. Peppers come in with the onions.
 

Roll_Bones

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I've don it/ do it both ways too. My sauce never comes out exactly the same cause Im always flying by he seat of my pants, and using what I have available a the time.
I don't think I have ever made a dish exactly the same in my life. There is always a variation or adjusted to what I have on hand.
One reason recipes to me are just overviews. Now when baking I stick to the ingredient list and use a scale.
 

jennyema

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Im about to make beef stew in a couple of min with mushrooms and other veggies. I want the mushrooms to give up liquid into what will become gravy after its cooked down. So I clean and either slice or quarter and in they go, raw.

The liquid pulled out of mushrooms is very umami-forward.
 

taxlady

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I haven't made a tomato sauce in a long time. I think I just sautéed all the veggies first and then threw in the tomatoes, bay leaf or leaves, a couple of wide strips of the yellow part of lemon rind, and chopped olives. I enjoy the flavour that a little bit of green pepper adds to the sauce, but I don't want to taste them separately, so I julienne them. That way they seem to vanish and I don't bump into a bunch of green pepper flavour all at once.
 

dcSaute

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Im about to make beef stew in a couple of min with mushrooms and other veggies. I want the mushrooms to give up liquid into what will become gravy after its cooked down. So I clean and either slice or quarter and in they go, raw.

The liquid pulled out of mushrooms is very umami-forward.
for gravies - I like to boil briefly-then-steep-then-cool morels. use the liquor, not the limp bodies.... huge flavor boost
 

blissful

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I pretty much just put the onions (dehydrated or freshly chopped) and mushrooms (previously cooked or raw) and all the spices in with the sauce at the beginning. The sauce is just a previously cooked canned thick sauce, or a thin sauce of just tomatoes/lemon. I use thyme and a good amount of ground fennel seed. If the sauce is thick it's done, if it is thin, I cook it until it is thick enough. (thick enough is thick enough that no water pools under the spaghetti noodles)
 

Kathleen

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It depends on the mushrooms I am using or the result that I want. For example, I make a mushroom alfredo-like pasta that uses baby bellas. I slice them thickly and brown them slightly before adding everything else. Other times, the mushrooms get added in the end. Like I have a recipe that uses mushrooms that are nearly shaved.
 

thymeless

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I also grind up dried mushrooms and sprinkle them into sauces stocks, gravies and such. They hydrate quickly in powder firm and add great flavor
 
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