Pasta with Mushrooms & Tomatoes

"Why don't you want to graduate?"

I've been asked this so many times by my friends and peers. It's actually a bit ridiculous. Perhaps even more ridiculous is the fact that I haven't given anyone a straight answer. The only response I have is "oh, I just don't want to." Not even witty, but just a childish response to a perfectly valid question. Truth is, I don't really want to let anyone know how I feel. I feel weird pouring out my heart out (is this an expression that people use?) to people I know in real life. And that's why I don't. And that's why I write about it online instead. Because I'm a chicken.

So I guess here's why. I know that once I graduate, I won't be seeing half of these people ever again. These are people that I've seen pretty much every day for the past 5 years. FIVE YEARS OF MY LIFE. That's over a quarter of my life! Insane, eh? Oh, plus people in other grades too.

But mostly, I'm afraid that I won't stay close with people who I've fostered friendships with. I'm pretty much going to be alone in university. As selfish as this is, I don't want them to make friends. I want to stay friends with them and I know this won't happen if they make friends in post-secondary. I don't even talk to most of my friends outside of school so how am I supposed to maintain a relationship without any contact.

One of my closest friends is headed to a different university than I am. She's excited for new beginnings, "The more I think about it, the more I'm excited to start fresh with everything."

I feel like all the relationships I've made with people will just fade into nothingness. I don't want to start anew. I don't want to have to make new friends. I'm not someone people become friends with. I don't even want new friends! I just want the same friends. The same life. I don't want anything to change.

But alas, life is funny and the only thing that is constant is change. She told me to try to get excited to graduate so I'll enjoy it. I almost wanted to punch her in the face. Instead, I just decided not to respond back to her messages because I'm childish. I don't know why I was so mad about it, but meh. That's life.

We also talked about our hopes for the future. I don't want to be a super millionaire or something. I just want to do something that makes me happy, but will provide enough money that I don't have to worry about buying raw sugar (which is 3 times more than granulated sugar at the local grocery stores), fair trade products, and boatloads of spices.

For now, I'll deal with what I have. Just simple things.

This pasta dish is ridiculously quick and easy to make, even if you don't know how to cook (a.k.a. me). The browned mushrooms make this dish really special because of the intense flavour it develops as it cooks down. The sauce, while simple, beautifully coats the pasta. I was left wanting more.

PS, I've never had any cool spices or herbs in my house, but I reckon it would be pretty awesome spiced up.

Pasta with Mushrooms & Tomatoes
Adapted from Laura in the Kitchen

Yield: 1 serving

4 ounces (113g) grams pasta (I used penne, but whatever floats your boat)
150 grams button mushrooms*
1/2 large tomato (approx 150 grams)**
1 clove of garlic
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon unsalted butter***

Prepare the vegetables. Cut each mushroom into eighths. Dice the tomato. Mince the garlic.
Bring a large pot of salted boiling water to boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions (mine took about 10 minutes for al dente).

In a large pan, add the olive oil and minced garlic. Turn the heat up to high and wait until the garlic starts to sizzle. Add in the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the mushrooms brown and have cooked down, about 5 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes to the mushrooms, and cook for about 3 minutes.

Reserve about 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water from the pasta. Drain the pasta. Add the pasta water to the mushrooms and tomatoes. Cook until the sauce has thickened. Add the pasta, and stir to coat with the sauce. Mix in the butter until it has fully incorporated in the dish. Give a final taste and adjust for seasoning. Serve!

If you like cheese, grate some parmigiano reggiano before serving (but uh, I don't really like cheese... shh). If I had some basil or parsley, I probably would have added that at the end. Also, I think this would be pretty swell with some red pepper flakes.

* I think any button-mushroom-like-mushroom would be pretty good here.

** Cherry tomatoes probably work well too.

*** To keep it vegan, use vegan butter.


  1. That looks absolutely delicious. I hope you don't mind if I take this recipe and use it on my own :)

  2. Oh this looks amazing! I want this right now.

  3. i want this right now too!!! great and interesting post by the way.

  4. You can't go wrong with a delicious pasta dish. Mushrooms and tomatoes compliment each other so wonderfully. Crimini mushrooms would add wonderful added flavour and texture to this recipe as well. Don't be nervous to move on Henri! Everyone gets nervous, but so many more fun adventures lay ahead- embrace them!