The month of October is devoted to raising awareness in the world of our need to move toward diets which do not rely solely on animal based foods. This move toward plant based eating has implications of greater health and well being for all of us-and on a global level, it raises awareness of how how better to deal with world hunger issues by utilizing plant and grain resources.

Below is a recipe to kick-start the month!

pasta with wild mushrooms and peas

1 lb. mixed fresh wild mushrooms (shitake, cremini, porcini, lobster, chanterelle, Portobello)
4 oz. dried porcini
¼ cup finely chopped garlic
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
1 10 oz. bag frozen organic peas
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 lb. dried organic penne, farfalle or rigatoni (any short pasta will work)
1 cup freshly grated parmesan or romano

Bring a large pot of water with 1 tablespoon of sea salt to a boil; reduce to a simmer while you prepare the sauce:

In a small bowl, soak the dried porcini in enough hot water to cover them for about 20 minutes. Remove the porcini to a cutting board and reserve the liquid. Slice thin the rest of the fresh wild mushrooms and the porcini. In a large skillet, heat half of the olive oil at medium heat. Add the fresh mushrooms and sauté for about 15-20 minutes, or until they are cooked down.

Add the Porcini and continue to sauté for an additional 10 minutes. Add the garlic and mix thoroughly. Continue to sauté another 5 minutes. Add the reserved porcini soaking liquid. Reduce the heat to low. Bring the water back up to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente (no more than 10 minutes). When the pasta is finished cooking, add it to the skilled with the mushrooms. Add the peas and the chopped fresh herbs and mix together. Add the rest of the olive oil and season with the salt and freshly ground pepper.

Transfer to a large serving bowl and sprinkle with half of the grated cheese. Serve the rest of the cheese alongside the pasta.