Wild Mushroom Baked Pasta

  • 16 ounces plum tomatoes, canned, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups assorted wild mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red wine, dry
  • 1 pound pasta shells or ziti
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup sage, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly cracked
  • 1/2 pound mozzarella, part-skim, sliced thin
Place a large pot half full of salted water on to boil for the pasta.

Blend tomatoes with their juice in a food processor or through a food mill.

Heat oil in a heavy saucepan over high heat. Add onions and garlic and lightly brown in hot oil, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Stir in mushrooms and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Add wine and tomato purée. Bring liquid to a simmer and reduce until tomato mixture is stew-like, about 15 minutes.

Cook pasta in the boiling salted water until al dente. Drain thoroughly. Adjust seasoning of finished sauce with sugar, sage, salt, and pepper. Combine sauce with cooked pasta and place in a lightly oiled casserole dish.

Top casserole with mozzarella and bake until sauce is bubbling and cheese is golden brown, about 25 minutes.
Yield: 4 servings

Suggested Wine Pairings:
Pinot Noir, Syrah, Brunello di Montalcino, Barbaresco, Cabernet Franc