The other day, my sister and I were reminiscing about some of the memorable meals we’ve managed to pull together in bare vacation-rental kitchens, which totally reminded me of this mushroom and olive tomato sauce, I’ve been meaning to share the recipe here.
She whipped this sauce up while we were on vacation late last year. It all started with the markets on Rue Montorgueil, their carts piled high with luscious and enticing fruits and vegetables. We couldn’t resist the chanterelles; golden and delicate and so pretty, they call them girolle there. We got about half a kilo, not quite sure what we were going to do with them. On the way home, we stopped by the Monoprix in Les Halles and picked up olive oil, tomatoes, passata, olives, wine and some spice and herbs – and that is how this sauce was born.
This is an easy sauce to make; it has few ingredients and comes together effortlessly.
Chanterelle is the hero here, it’s subtly peppery with mild fruity notes and a delicate texture. Combined with buttery olives and tasty juicy tomatoes, your reward is this rich flavour-packed sauce that is thick and hearty as it is delicious.
The first evening, we heaped it over pasta and gobbled it up; with plenty left over, we discovered it goes great with baguette, the good crusty kind.
I tried to recreate this sauce once I got home, this time with cremini mushrooms and fancy Spanish olives, and a few dollops of pesto. It was such a simple comforting sauce for weeknight meals. I loved it with warm toasty pita bread, it’s perfect for scooping up this deliciousness.
Passata should be fairly easy to find at the grocery store, use it if you can. It’s uncooked tomatoes, pureed and strained and usually comes in a tall glass jar – it adds a nice velvety depth to the sauce. If you can’t find passata and aren’t in the mood to make your own, double the amount of crushed tomatoes in the recipe.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or to taste
- 1 lb chanterelle or cremini mushrooms, chopped (or use button, portobello, shiitake oyster, or fresh porcini mushrooms, if you can find them)
- 1/2 sea salt, adjust to taste
- 1 14.5oz can crushed tomatoes (~2 cups)
- 2 – 3 cups passata (uncooked tomato puree)
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 1/2 cups pitted green or black olives
- 1 tablespoon dried herbs or Italian seasoning (I use a mix of thyme, basil, rosemary and oregano)
- 1 tablespoon dried mushroom powder, optional (I use dried porcini mushroom powder)
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Heat olive over medium heat in a large saucepan or deep skillet
- Add onion, garlic and pepper flakes, and sauté until onions become fragrant
- Stir in mushrooms and salt and sauté, until mushrooms soften, about 3 minutes
- Add crushed tomatoes, passata and red wine, stir and cook until sauce comes to a simmer, then reduce heat, cover and cook for 10 – 15 minutes, or until sauce starts to thicken, stir occasionally
- Add olives and dried herbs and mushroom powder, taste and season with extra salt if needed
- Keep sauce on low heat, and cook for another 4 – 6 minutes
- Stir in chopped parsley, and serve with cooked pasta or baguette or pita bread with freshly ground black pepper