I’m not chef, but I know my way around the kitchen. Both my husband and I share the cooking duties at home and we eat nearly every meal at home. Every once and a while I land on an accidental gem and this is one of them: Portobello Mushroom Caps with Homemade Tomato Sauce and Side of GF Pasta. It’s like a more Paleo version of chicken parmigiana or something (and more delicious). I thought it’d be fun to share this gluten-free portobello mushroom recipe with you all. Let me know what you think!
Portobello Mushroom Recipe
Oil to cook mushrooms (I use coconut oil or ghee)
3+ fresh tomatoes (could use canned if necessary)
Oregano, Basil and Parley (fresh or dried – I use dried and it’s fine)
Mozzarella Cheese (if desired – for Paleo, skip the cheese; for vegan, either skip or use your favorite vegan cheese)
Gluten-free pasta (I usually buy two small portions from the bulk aisle – any style is fine, but I prefer linguini or spaghetti)
Parmesan cheese (if desired)
This meal is kind of an art because you’ll have many pans going and it can get a bit chaotic if you’re cooking alone. I start with the mushrooms.Remove the stem and wash the caps. I always use a spoon to gently scrape away the gills. Heat your oil in a pan on medium or medium-high and add the cleaned caps. Cook for a while (I know, stay with me). Flip the caps when one side is nicely cooking but not burning. I usually flip the caps several times and rotate their position in the pan to get even cooking. When the caps are done, they will be significantly smaller than when you started, dark colored and almost flat.
While the mushrooms are cooking, preheat the oven to broil. Also, you will want to get your water boiling for the pasta.
Then, start working on the sauce. Chop up your tomatoes into small pieces and add to a saucepan. Throw in a couple chopped cloves of garlic and season liberally with oregano, parsley, basil and salt and pepper. Feel free to add whatever you fancy (like some spice, garlic salt, etc.). I usually add some olive oil for some moisture. Bring the mixture to a boil and then turn down the heat to a nice simmer. The longer you can simmer, the better because the tomatoes start to break down, the skin softens and it becomes more sauce-like. I’m sure it’s good regardless of cook time, but I like to get mine going so it can simmer while the mushrooms and pasta are cooking.
Once the mushrooms are done and oven is preheated, move the mushroom caps to a baking-safe dish. I like to use a 9×9 glass pan with sides high enough to hold in any moisture from the tomato sauce. Put the mushrooms down gill-side up (see photo up above), then spoon some of the tomato mixture into the caps. I try to keep it from spilling out, carefully piling it high. I add probably a 1/4 inch or so of tomato topping on each cap. Make sure you save enough of the tomato sauce for your pasta.
Then, if desired, top with a slice of mozzarella cheese or grated would work too. Add to the oven and broil for several minutes, until the cheese is melted to your desire. If you’re not doing cheese, you probably don’t have to broil at all.
By now hopefully your pasta is cooked to your liking. Pull the mushrooms from the oven and put onto a plate. Serve up some pasta, use the remaining tomato sauce to top the pasta (it will be a bit watery) and carefully scoop your mushroom cap from the pan. Sprinkle the whole bit with some parmesan cheese or basil/oregano for visual appeal.
Finally, enjoy with the ones you love. I love making this meal for my husband and it’s one of his favorites. It’s a warm and satisfying meal, even for meat lovers. I like to top this off with a glass of wine and a little candlelight.
Go ahead, give it a try and let me know what you think!