What’s for dinner: pasta with really good tomato sauce

I get Food and Wine Magazine in the mail every month. There’s usually a few recipes that I want to make, and always very pretty pictures to drool over. While l was flipping through the latest issue, I saw a recipe for “The Best Pasta for $4 a Serving” and was intrigued. The header note said that this was almost as good as NYC’s Scarpetta, and their pasta is $24 a serving. I don’t live in New York, and I don’t think I’d pay $24 for a plate of pasta with tomato sauce even if I did. So, I gathered my ingredients and made this for dinner on Monday night. It wasn’t difficult, but it did require the use of several different pots.

There wasn’t anything exotic about the recipe except that it called for making a mushroom broth–boiling mushrooms and water down for about an hour (mine took less time).
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And simmering garlic and olive oil together for about 1/2 hour (boy did my house smell good….its too bad we don’t have smell-o-blog)
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and putting it all together with 2 cans of whole peeled tomatoes
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And then I blended it all together with the stick blender and simmered it for about an hour. And then I served it family style with some basil.
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The nice thing about this recipe is that after I invested that kind of time, I ended up with 3 containers of sauce I froze for future good eating.
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$4 Spaghetti That’s Almost as Good as $24 Spaghetti
I’ve never been much for making my own pasta sauce, but this recipe might convert me. I think the only thing I would change is to cut back on the olive oil. 
From Food and Wine Magazine, August 2012
makes 4-6 servings plus 4 cups of sauce to use another time

4 ounces white button mushrooms, thinly sliced
3/4 cup peeled garlic cloves (4 ounces–from about 4 heads. I only had two at home, so that’s what I used
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 28-oz cans peeled italian tomatoes with their juices
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 lb spaghetti, or your favorite shape
1/4 torn basil leaves
freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving

In a saucepan, bring mushrooms and 3 cups of water to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until the broth is reduced to 1 cup–about one hour. Strain and discard the mushrooms.

While the mushrooms are doing their thing, put the garlic and olive oil in a small saucepan and simmer that until the garlic is soft and fragrant and lightly brown–about 1/2 hour

In a large non-reactive pot, combine tomatoes, garlic and oil and the mushroom broth, puree using an immersion blender and simmer over moderatly low heat until thickened, about 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper

Cook the pasta until al-dente, and drain, return to pot and cook with 2 cups of the sauce for about 1 minute. Serve with basil and cheese.