Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

penne with mushroom sauce (chef boyardee)

★★★★★ 1
a recipe by
Sherry Blizzard
Piney Flats, TN

Who among us doesn't have fond childhood memories of Chef Boyardee? Whether it was that boxed pizza or the canned ravioli, we all love that kind of comfort food. "Delicious Memories: Recipes and Stories from the Chef Boyardee Family", by Anna Boiardi, is a must have ISBN:978-1-58479-906-1. Hector Boiardi (the REAL Chef Boyardee) used fresh mushrooms that he personally inspected every day, not dried. I think his neice's (Anna) idea of using dried is brilliant. Your guests will never know that this is a vegetarian dish. The mushrooms are earthy and meaty, the sauce is perfect!

★★★★★ 1
serves 4
prep time 1 Hr
cook time 45 Min
method Stove Top

Ingredients For penne with mushroom sauce (chef boyardee)

  • 2 c
  • 1 oz
    dried porcini mushrooms (i used a prepackaged mixture of dried mushrooms)
  • 3 Tbsp
  • 3 Tbsp
    extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 md
    onion, diced
  • 1 box
    26.6 oz pomi strained tomatoes (see note below)
  • 1 can
    10.7 oz hunts tomato puree
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lb
    penne pasta (al dente) (use gluten free if you want it to be gluten free)
  • optional: red pepper flakes, parmesan cheese

How To Make penne with mushroom sauce (chef boyardee)

  • This is all you need.  I've already reconstituted the dried mushrooms and chopped them.  You should get about 1 cup of liquid off the drained mushrooms.
    Here is what you need.
  • 2
    Put 2 cups water in a saucepan and add dried mushrooms. Bring to a boil, cover and set aside until cool. (I had to do this a few times because I didn't feel the mushrooms were soft and tender enough). Use your fingers to feel the mushrooms. They should be soft, yet meaty.
  • 3
    DO NOT THROW OUT THE LIQUID. Drain the mushrooms in a colander, reserving the liquid. Set the mushroom liquid aside. Rinse the mushrooms in the colander, (cleaning out any dirt or grit remaining) lay out on a paper towel to drain.
  • 4
    Finely, chop the mushrooms. You don't want great big pieces, but because you are using dried mushrooms, they retain a slight "meatiness" that fresh mushrooms would not. Set the chopped mushrooms aside.
  • 5
    Rinse the colander, line with paper towels, put a bowl or a measuring cup under the colander to collect the "cleaned" mushroom broth. You want to put the liquid through paper towels to catch any dirt or grit.
  • Low heat, melt butter and add extra virgin olive oil.  Let the onions sweat for 7-8 minutes.
    Melt butter and oil in a large skillet, toss in onions and let cook on low 7-8 minutes until fragrant and translucent.
  • Add in chopped mushrooms (they are so yummy and meaty), the mushroom liquor (liquid), tomato puree, salt and pepper.  Let this simmer on low for 45 minutes.  The sauce will naturally thicken up.  Stir occasionally.
    Add mushrooms, mushroom liquid you saved, pureed tomatoes, salt and pepper. Let this bubble gently on the stove for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. You will notice it thickening just a little. Taste to adjust, salt and pepper more if needed.
  • 8
    At about 25 minutes into the sauce bubbling, start your pasta. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When boiling, add salt (you want your water salty). Cook pasta to al dente. Leaving it just a little firm makes this a great dish as both a main course or a side dish.
  • The original recipe does not call to top with cheese, but cheese just feels right.
    Drain pasta well, add sauce and mix well.
  • 10
    Notes: The original recipe calls for 1 32-oz can of plum tomatoes (Italian) and pureed through a food mill. My gut instinct was to add garlic. I'm GLAD I didn't! I could see adding a few red pepper flakes if you so desire. I didn't.