Vegetarian Pasta Inspired by a Favorite Restaurant
Whenever my husband and I fall in love with a recipe at a restaurant, we immediately start thinking about how to replicate it at home... and by "we," I mean "he." Many years ago, we tried the Olive Garden's Cappellini Pomodoro and loved it. Ever since then, we have made our own recipe, prepared to our own tastes. It's a favorite that has evolved as we go back to it again and again for its fresh flavors, rich sauciness, and healthy composition.
On this page, I'll share our "copycat" recipe, though it's more of a twist than a copy. I'll also share some tips my husband uses that make it delicious, easy to make, and beautiful.
Photos on this page are my own.
Best Cookbook for Fresh, Delicious Vegetarian Foods
My husband and I love the Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, New York (even though we live nowhere near it). We fell in love with it through the series of cookbooks that we own, and when we were nearby visiting family, we were drawn to the restaurant in Ithaca as if it were Mecca and we were on a pilgrimage. It was as outstanding as we imagined based on the simple, decent vegetarian recipes we had found in the cookbooks, and I'm proud to recommend this... one of the more recent cookbooks in the series.
The title speaks for itself, but if you're still wondering, take a look at the table of contents for this cookbook. I couldn't resist it, and had to start trying dishes! This book is a must have for the busy household that still wants to eat delicious, healthy, vegetarian home cooking.4.6 out of 5 stars (56 customer reviews)
This recipe makes enough for my husband and I with leftovers for several days. However, it can be easily cut in half.
If you like, substitute your favorite green(s) for the asparagus including, but not limited to, broccoli, fresh green beans, or spinach. Each will change the flavor slightly, but that's the point... make it your own.
- 16 ounces button mushrooms (sliced)
- 2 pounds fresh asparagus (cut into 1-inch pieces)
- 2 pints grape tomatoes (cut in half lengthwise)
- 1 large onion (chopped)
- 7 -8 cloves garlic or to taste (minced)
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/4 cup Chardonnay
- 16 -ounce package whole wheat angel hair pasta
- Shredded Asiago cheese (to taste)
- Saute onions, mushrooms, and garlic in a large deep skillet. After the mushrooms begin to cook down, add asparagus pieces. After a few more minutes, add grape tomatoes. Continue to cook ingredients until much of the liquid is drawn out of the vegetables and has evaporated. Drizzle olive oil and Chardonnay into the mixture to revitalize it. Cook about 3 more minutes, pour over prepared pasta, top with freshly shredded Asiago cheese and serve.
Tip for Mushrooms
In the first stage of sauteing, sprinkle no more than 1/8 teaspoon salt over the mushrooms in the frying pan. The salt helps draw the liquid out of the mushrooms quicker.
This same technique can be used on eggplant before roasting.
We also use it on tomato slices before adding them to pizza so the crust doesn't get too soggy.
Our Favorite Kitchen Tools for Preparing Pomodoro
You'll need a large fry pan for this dish, and this is a good one. We like the non-stick porcelain and the cheerful color as we're cooking a fresh vegetable dish like this.
Cook, steam, and drain in one pot. We love our stock pot set!
An Amazon best seller, this is a great basic garlic press. It's the built in cleaning mechanism that has me sold though. And it's safe for your dishwasher too.
When you have a lot of mushrooms to slice, this tool makes it so much quicker and easier. We actually took the bottom off and just use the top part with the wires and press the mushroom through with our fingers... even easier!!
Tips for Asparagus
When using store bought fresh asparagus, snap off the ends. You should be able to feel where the tough part ends and the fresh, delicious vegetable begins. It snaps off easily at that point.
Cut the pieces at an angle instead of straight up and down. It increases the surface area so the asparagus can give up its liquid quicker, and it looks fancier.
Preparing Fresh Asparagus
A lot of people recommend cutting an inch or so off the bottom of your asparagus, but that doesn't guarantee that you get rid of the yucky woody bottom part. This is the best way to do it and you're sure to get rid of all of the yuck so you can enjoy the delicious fresh flavor of asparagus.