Pasta with Zucchini, Dried Tomatoes, Dried Shitake Mushrooms & Herbs

Zucchini squashes are back in season; they come in all shapes, colors and sizes and, when fresh, have a lovely natural sweetness to them.You could make this dish with fresh mushrooms and tomatoes, but I like both the chewiness of the dried ones as well as the sweet flavor of the tomatoes when dried. The fresh herbs round out the flavors nicely and make this a wonderful pasta dish. IMG_0890


  • 2 1/4 cup of zucchini squash, cut into small bite size chunks
  • 1/4 cup dry tomatoes
  • 1/2  cup dried shitake mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of soysauce
  • 1/2 bundle of parsley
  • 2 sprigs of marjoram (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 2 sprigs of thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 sprig of oregano (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • Freshly ground pepper and salt to taste
  • Freshly graded parmesan (optional)
  • Pasta (I used brown rice pasta in this dish, but any pasta will be fine)

Serves 4 to 6



  1. Cut dried tomatoes into small chunks, I use my poultry shears to do it; works very well
  2. Boil water and pour over mushrooms and tomatoes (separate containers), cover and let sit for 10 minutes, drain liquid. You can save a bit of the tomato water in case you need extra liquid for the dish, do not use the mushroom water.
  3. Chop all other ingredients
  4. Boil water for pasta, add pasta when ready
  5. Heat oil in large pan over medium heat, add garlic and onion, saute for 3-4 minutes
  6. Add zucchini, saute for 5 minutes
  7. Add mushrooms, tomatoes and herbs - save a tablespoon of parsley for garnish, saute for a couple of minutes
  8. Ad white wine, soysauce, salt and pepper, cover pan and cook over low to medium heat for 5 - 10 minutes, until zucchini, mushrooms and tomatoes are done (remember the mushrooms and tomatoes will stay chewy!) Add tomato water if you need more liquid.
  9. Mix with pasta, garnish with remaining parsley and top with grated parmesan.
  10. Serve as main or side dish.

Bon Appetit!

Safran Quinoa with Dried Shitake Mushrooms (vegan)

Safran Quinoa with Dried Shitake Mushrooms

This is a great way to make your quinoa more interesting and tasty. Safran has a very nice, mild flavor and adds that great yellow color to the dish.It doesn't take much time to make it either.



  • 1 cup dried Shitake Mushrooms ( you can use fresh ones if you prefer, or any other type of mushroom you like)
  • Bouillon cubes (choose a healthy, MSG-free brand like Rapunzel)
  • Safran
  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • Water

    mushrooms 1


mushrooms 2

  • Put dried mushrooms into a bowl, cover with boiling water, cover with lid, soak for 15 minutes.
  • Mix soaked mushrooms and quinoa in a medium size pan.
  • Add water (2 cups, add more as needed)
  • Cook on medium heat.
  • Add bouillon once water is warm ( I actually like to take a bit of hot water out of the pot, put it in a cup, mix up the bouillon in it  and pour it back into the pan. Add about 3/4 of a cube, more if you want it saltier.
  • If you have high quality, finely ground safran(more expensive) you add it 5 minutes before the dish is done. If you have the less expensive kind, like the one Trader Joe sells, (threads, not ground), you add them in the beginning of the cooking process.

    quinoa 2

    Makes about 4 portions.

  • Enjoy with any of your favorite veggies and meat, tofu or fish dishes.

Bone Appetite!