Smoky Porcini Mushroom Sauce


I woke up in the middle of the night and I felt like my insides were trying to gnaw their way out through my stomach. I guess I didn’t have enough for dinner last night. I’ll have to remember to get something else besides sashimi the next time I go out for sushi, like some brown rice and veggies. Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night absolutely famished?

I ate the usual oatmeal for breakfast and started out in the pouring rain for my long commute to school. I saw a lot of this on the way.

Look at that line of cars!

Don’t worry, I wasn’t driving while taking pictures.

When I got home from school, Peter had set up a tasting plate of chocolates for my delectation.

They were all pretty good, but this Valrhona Manjari 66% is still my favorite:

On the menu for dinner: pasta with Smoky Porcini Mushroom Sauce. The porcini mushrooms had been sitting in our pantry for over a year, so I decided it was time to use them.

Smoky Porcini Mushroom Sauce

1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms
2 cups mushrooms of choice, sliced (I used shiitake and white button)
2 cups tomato sauce (I used the leftover sauce from this dinner)
Fresh herbs (I used basil and parsley from our Aerogarden)

Note: I always crush and mince my garlic first so that healthy compounds have a chance to form before I cook it. Try it!

Dried porcini.

Place dried porcini mushrooms in about 3/4 cup of water in a saucepan and set on the stove to boil. Boil for 1 minute, remove from heat, cover, and let soak for at least 15 minutes, or until soft. SAVE THE WATER!! It tastes goood 🙂

Boil, baby, boil!

Saute onion and softened porcini mushrooms in olive oil until onions are soft.

Add garlic and other mushrooms, and saute until soft.

Use the water from the porcinis to deglaze the pan (you did save the water, right??):

Cook the liquid down to half its volume, then stir in the tomato sauce and herbs:

Serve on top of your favorite pasta!

This sauce was fantastic! Peter’s tomato sauce was sweet, and the porcini mushrooms gave the sauce a wonderful smoky flavor that permeated throughout the whole dish. Yum!

I also made some roasted broccoli sprinkled with Chinese 5 Spice powder.

I got the idea for the broccoli from another wonderful blogger who roasted broccoli with cayenne pepper on top, but I can’t for the LIFE of me remember who it was. If you’re out there, please tell me the broccoli idea was from you so I can give you proper credit!

It’s getting late, so I’m off to bed. I might not be able to post for the next couple of days because we’re going to go skiing, and the Internet is a little spotty (i.e. nonexistent) where we’ll be. But, I’ll have some great pics when I return. Until then, au revoir!

Query: If you like broccoli, what is your favorite way to prepare/eat it?


  1. Yumm! Looove roasted broccoli! What is in the Chinese 5 Spice powder? Sounds amazing! saving this recipe to try out soon 🙂 enjoy the weekend skiing!

    1. I’m not sure what ours has – cinnamon, I think? Recipes vary, but a typical blend has star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Szechwan pepper, and ground fennel seed.

      Have a great weekend!

  2. Steamed, with soy sauce sprinkled on top. Of course.

  3. I love it roasted, steamed, raw – whatever!! HAH – I WISH I’d wake up hungry – I go to bed painfully bloated and full every night cause I eat way too much right before sleep :(….I won’t go into it…enjoy your weekend hon 😉

    1. I’ve definitely done that before – not a fun feeling 🙁 I hope you have a GREAT weekend, too 🙂

  4. Oh my goodness I wake up in the middle of the night starving all the time– I started eating a snack right before bed just so it wouldn’t happen anymore! 🙂

    1. I think I’ll try doing that 🙂

  5. That sauce looks great!

    My favorite way to eat broccoli is to roast it. I saw on Dr. OZ last night that your body absorbs the nutrients best if it if only lightly steamed though 🙁

    1. It’s true that you don’t want to cook the heck out of broccoli, but briefly roasting it will actually give you MORE nutrients than eating it raw! Enjoy it! 🙂

  6. that is a GREAT sauce! i love me some shrooms!! (not the drug kind..haha)
    i like my broccoli roasted! SOOO good w. hummus!

    1. lol 🙂 Hummus sounds like a great pair!

    1. It tastes pretty good like that 🙂

  7. I love making a baked macaroni dish – whole wheat elbow pasta, lots of veggies including mucho broccoli and red bell peppers and onion, some eggs, some grated cheese = yummy! Great winter food and lots of pretty colours 🙂 I just bought some good looking porcini mushrooms at a little Italian deli. Your sauce looks great, I just might have to try making it 🙂

    1. Yum, that macaroni dish sounds great!

  8. I wish I were greeted every day with a chocolate tasting plate!!!!!!!!!!! How nice!! 🙂

    My fave way to eat broccoli is definitely roasted!! 🙂

    1. Haha, it’s not every day, so it is a nice surprise! 🙂

  9. Hmmm…I like broccoli steamed, perhaps with a bit of basil!

    I recently tried stirring a tsp of sunflower seed butter in with chopped and steamed broccoli – this was DELICIOUS! You could probably try it with other nut butters as well.

    I actually am a huge fan of broccoli cooked into pasta dishes, as well as omelettes and frittatas. Delish!

    I went through a phase where I was CONSTANTLY waking up in the middle of the night with a whole in my stomach. it’s a terrible feeling! For me, it usually meant that I wasn’t eating enough during the day. I’ve changed that up now, though, and eat lots more…haha…sleep problems gone!

    1. Nut butter on broccoli – genius!

  10. I’m lazy and just steam the broccoli with spices, but my fave way is really to roast it up!
    I’ve never woken up starving before…mostly because I have nightly feasts and I wake up burping! tee hee hee!

    1. *Slurp burp* Yum! 😉

  11. This looks very tasty! I love muschrooms, garlic, and broccoli. Broccoli is actually a stable in our house because it’s Nick’s favorite vegetable, tehrefor eI take advantage and cook it all the time. I usually just steam it and add some pepper or garlic on top, or serve it with black beans for his lunches. We really add it to EVERYTHING we make (mac and cheese, pizza, it’s crazy!).

    I have definitely been hungry in the middle of the night, but its’ usually really late, almost morning time….so it’s perfect. I get up and eat breakfast! I am a late night eater so the problem isn’t that bad, really. It rarely happens tha tI get REALLY hungry in the middle of the night.

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Taking advantage of Nick’s veggie preferences – nice! 😉 Peter loves salad with Videlia Onion dressing, so I always keep a supply of the dressing around.

      Have a great weekend, too!

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