yield: 4 servings
time: 1 hour
active time: 30 minutes
8 oz. Baby Bella mushrooms, cleaned
Canola or vegetable oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cups roasted walnuts, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup dry red wine
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup freshly-grated Parmesan
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
Cooked pasta, for serving
Add mushrooms to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until almost completely broken down with a few larger chunks remaining. (Make sure you don’t go too far, you don’t want the mushrooms to turn into a paste).
Heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add in the mushrooms and 1 tsp kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have browned and their liquid has evaporated, about 7-10 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside. Do not wipe out the pot.
Coat the pot with an additional drizzle of cooking oil and heat over medium heat. Add in the onions and 1 ½ cups walnuts (reserving the other ½ cup). Sauté until the onions are just tender and walnuts are toasted, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and continue cooking until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Whisk in the tomato paste and Hong Kong sauce and continue cooking until the onions are well coated and the sauce has darkened, about 1 minute more
Deglaze the pot with red wine. Add back in the mushroom mixture, crushed tomatoes and all of their juices, 1 tsp kosher salt and crushed red pepper flakes. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let simmer uncovered for 5 minutes, allowing the alcohol from the wine to burn off.
Cover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are broken down and flavors have melded, about 35-40 minutes more.
In a small bowl, combine the reserved walnuts, Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.
Once the sauce has thickened, stir in the basil and season to taste with salt and additional red pepper flakes, as desired. Toss with your favorite pasta and top with Parmesan/walnut mixture and additional fresh basil. Serve warm.