Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Pasta with Fresh-Tomato and Mushroom Sauce

When dinner needs to be quick and easy and light, fresh, and flavorful, here’s your dish. Warm and satisfying pasta doesn’t have to be weighed down with a thick, heavy sauce. Don’t get me wrong—those are delicious. But sometimes you want simple as well as nutritious—no-fuss as well as inviting.

Here, fresh tomatoes and mushrooms are the stars of the plate, while the sauce is a light mixture of olive oil, butter, and white wine that simply coats the other ingredients. Finish with a little salty cheese shaved on top, and dinner is ready in less than 30 minutes. It’s what fast food was meant to be.

Serves 4

  • 8 oz dry rotini
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 8 oz. button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3 large cluster tomatoes, coarsely chopped (about 1 lb total)
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • shaved Manchego (or Parmesan) cheese, for serving
Sauce Ingredients
Prepared Ingredients
  1. Cook the rotini in boiling, salted water until al dente, 7-8 minutes. Drain.
  2. Heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the butter. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are just beginning to soften, 4 minutes.
  3. Add the wine and cook, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid is absorbed, 5-6 minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the tomatoes just begin to break down, 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the drained pasta and parsley to the pan, stirring to combine, until hot throughout, 2 minutes.
Mushrooms Beginning to Cook
Wine Added
Liquid Absorbed
Tomatoes Added 
Cooked Tomatoes 
Pasta and Parsley Added
Divide the pasta among 4 shallow bowls and drizzle with olive oil. Top with shaved cheese and serve right away.

Pasta and Parsley Added

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