Corn & Quinoa Pasta with Braised Mushroom Ragu/Maplewood Fat Pug/The Watchers “Black Abyss”
It’s been way too long since we’ve featured a vegetarian dish, but that drought comes to an end tonight in a big way. We’re turning the traditional Italian Sunday Ragu on it’s ear, by first swapping out semolina noodles with this corn and quinoa spaghetti. Then, the normally meat-heavy “gravy” gets traded out for a rich tomato and wine based sauce consisting of two types of braised mushrooms. For the beer we wanted a slightly sweet, yet easy drinking, stout, and Maplewood’s Fat Pug oatmeal milk stout fit the bill perfectly. On the stereo, we’re spinning an absolute contender for album of the year with The Watchers’ “Black Abyss” tearing up our speakers.
Corn & Quinoa Pasta with Braised Mushroom Ragu – Since we’re not cooking any tough cuts of meat like a typical Italian gravy would have, this sauce can be set-up in about an hour. In a small stockpot we warm a couple tablespoons of olive oil then we’ll add 2 diced carrots and 3 finely diced large yellow onions.
Now it’s time for the shrooms. We’re going to add one pint of sliced white mushrooms and 1 pint of sliced baby bellas along with 3 cloves of garlic, finely diced.
To season the veggie mixture, were going to hit the pot with a few hits of our Bootlicker Sicilian Rub.
The mushrooms are going to sautée down for about 20 minutes until soft, then we’re going to add a couple tablespoons of good quality butter right on top to let that melt right into the shrooms.
Time to turn these braised mushrooms into a pasta sauce. We add a 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes and an 8 oz can of tomato sauce to the pot followed by a 1/2 cup of red wine.
Bootlicker is going to make one more appearance to season up the sauce, then we’re going to let it cook down for about an hour until thick.
With the sauce keeping warm, all we need to do is whip up these corn and quinoa noodles that appear on the surface to look like regular noodles…
Now we can ladle the mushroom sauce right on top and mix well.
A dusting of romano cheese is the final piece to the puzzle for this super satisfying and healthy spin on a traditionally heavy dish.
Maplewood Fat Pug – Chicago’s Maplewood Brewing has graced our pages quite a bit over the last month or so, and they do so again tonight with their Fat Pug Oatmeal Milk Stout. The beer pours a deep, dark brown with the appropriate foamy head. The aroma has the typical stout-like sweetness but it also comes with a certain astringency that you’d normally get with the hoppier beers. The flavor is super mild and slightly chocolatey, pairing up nicely with the pasta dish.
The Watchers “Black Abyss” – When we featured The Watchers’ “Sabbath Highway” EP back in 2016 we concluded our write up with the words “Hopefully a full length is in the works, this band is just too good to limit to 5 songs”. Well, less than 2 years later, our wish was granted and let us just say, this album completely blows our mind. So much so, that we can’t stop listening to it.. With 8 new tracks on “Black Abyss”, the band shows their prowess in a few different sub-genres; the doom realm (“Black Abyss”), 80s melodic arena rock (“Buzzard”), 90s grunge (“Starfire”), Skynyrd-style southern rock (“Suffer Fool”) and of course, Sabbath on the album’s best track “Alien Lust”. This album absolutely will be there by year-end, making a case for an album of the year. And heck, since it worked last time, let’s try it again…hopefully a second full length is in the works, this band is just too good to limit to just an EP and 1 full length release.