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Savory Marsala-Infused Mushroom-Shallot Sauce

Savory Marsala-Infused Mushroom-Shallot Sauce Serves 4

Note: The consistency is not particularly creamy nor saucy, it’s almost chunky, even tapenade-like. But it’s perfect and packed with flavor.

Ingredients:
2 large shallots, halved – $0.89
3 cloves of garlic – stock
2 Tablespoons of olive oil, divided – stock
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, divided (you can get fancy and use truffle butter too) – stock
2 8-oz packages of baby bella mushrooms, rinsed, patted dry and then cut into quarters – $5
½-cup marsala wine (sherry works too in a pinch) – stock
1 Tablespoon Balsamic vinegar – stock
Dash of dried thyme – stock
Salt & pepper – stock
Ravioli – $3.59
~3 Tablespoons reserved pasta water
Grand total assuming “well-stocked” kitchen: $9.48
Cost per serving: $2.37

Directions:
1. Using a food processor, pulse the shallots and garlic until finely chopped. Set aside in a small bowl.

2. Also using the food processor, pulse the mushrooms in batches until finely chopped. Set aside. (you can also hand-chop the mushrooms into a rough dice).

3. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a dash of salt over med-high heat. Reduce to med-low and saute the shallots & garlic until they start to turn translucent and fragrant (stir frequently to prevent burning).

4. Add the mushrooms, another pinch of salt and remaining olive oil & butter. Increase heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently for about 3 minutes, until the mushrooms start to turn grayish. Add the marsala and Balsamic vinegar and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Stir in the thyme and some freshly ground black pepper. Taste. I often just leave the mushrooms to simmer over a very low flame, stirring occasionally for 15-20 minutes while I cook the pasta.

5. Boil salted water and cook the ravioli (or pasta) according to package directions. Reserve ~3 tablespoons of the pasta water when straining. Add the pasta and reserved water to the mushrooms (taste to adjust seasonings/salt) and serve hot, garnished with parmesan, if desired.