Oyster mushrooms were first cultivated in Germany just after World War I, to supplement the meager food supply. Since that time they have become one of the most widely consumed mushrooms. In the wild, they can be found growing on fallen logs or under rotting tree branches. There are multiple varieties including pearl, blue, pink, king, and golden oyster mushrooms. As the name suggests, their appearance recalls to mind the color and shape of a sea oyster.
Today, most of the oyster mushrooms we eat are cultivated like the ones I used in this delicious recipe. I love when components of my recipes are locally grown. Rebecca Farms Lowcountry Mushrooms uses local agricultural waste (the leftovers from oat and wheat harvests) to aid in their farming. I think it is brilliant and environmentally conscious when farmers can utilize something that would otherwise be thrown away.
Oyster mushrooms are also very healthy. A whole cup is only 65 calories, 10 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fat and a whopping 5 grams of protein! I couldn’t wait to start cooking these into some savory dishes. One of my favorite ways to eat oyster mushrooms is over pasta. They are perfect cooked for a few minutes in either olive oil, white wine, or vegetable broth with some garlic and fresh herbs. However, today I was in the mood to kick it up a bit by adding a creamy vegan sun dried tomato sauce. There are many variations of this sauce, but this is my favorite version that I love to whip up at home. The whole meal can be completed in 25 minutes or less!
Creamy Sun Dried Tomato & Oregano Pasta Sauce with Oyster Mushrooms
Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta Sauce
- 75 grams sun dried tomatoes (not in oil)
- 1 cup hot water
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened plain almond milk
- 4 tbsp tomato paste
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1-2 pinches red pepper flakes (optional)
- 4 cups oyster mushrooms (stems removed)
- 1-2 shallots minced
- 4-6 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsp vegetable broth or olive oil for cooking (more if needed)
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 2 tbsp fresh oregano chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 package dried pasta (I like to use a short pasta for this sauce such as cavatelli)
Sun Dried Tomato Pasta Sauce
- Place sun dried tomatoes in a 2 cup sized glass measuring container. Add 1 cup of hot water and let soak for 10 minutes.
- Add nutritional yeast, peeled whole garlic cloves, tomato paste, almond milk, dried oregano and red pepper flakes if using to a saucepan.
- Add the soaked sundried tomatoes and 1/2 cup of the soaking liquid to the saucepan.
- Bring sauce to a low simmer stirring often. Cook 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and transfer to a blender. Blend until smooth. Taste and add more red pepper if desired. Return to saucepan until ready to serve.
- Heat 2 tbsp of vegetable broth or olive oil in a large shallow pan over medium heat.
- Add mushrooms and cook 3 minutes without stirring. Add more broth if needed as they cook.
- Add white wine. Stir mushrooms.
- Add garlic and shallots. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes until mushrooms are a golden color.
- Stir in fresh oregano and salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook pasta according to the package directions while mushrooms are cooking.
- Serve sauce over cooked pasta and top with oyster mushroom mixture and additional fresh oregano.