This is an ideal dish to make whenever you're bringing both vegans and non-vegans to the table. It's delicious, feeds a crowd and looks similar to its traditional meatier counterpart but is entirely plant-based. Plus, it's light for a pasta dish, yet still filling. The combination of different mushrooms, especially the dried porcini, is delectably umami.
Place the porcini mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with the boiling water; let stand until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain and save the liquid. Rinse the porcini and chop them.
Meanwhile, working in batches if needed, combine the cremini mushrooms, button mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic to the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to the bowl with the mushrooms.
Heat enough oil to generously cover the bottom of a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the chopped vegetables, thyme, rosemary, oregano, tomato paste and red pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, about 20 minutes.
Add the wine, soy sauce and the porcinis and their soaking water to the pot. Cook until the wine evaporates, then add the diced tomatoes. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is deep red in color, 30 minutes to 1 hour. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Keep the pasta warm if the sauce is still cooking.
Add the pasta and pasta water to the pot with the sauce and toss to combine. Divide among plates or bowls and sprinkle with nutritional yeast if using and basil. Serve and enjoy!
Read the labels on condiments and prepared items to make sure they are vegan. Some can be not-so-obvious sources of animal products.
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