• 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped cremini mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped California walnuts
  • 1 can (400g) diced tomatoes
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 pound pasta
  • Snipped fresh basil (optional garnish)


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add garlic and onion and sauté for 5 minutes to soften. Stir in mushrooms and sauté over medium-low heat for 6 to 8 minutes more or until mushrooms are very soft, stirring occasionally.
  2. Stir in oregano, basil, tomato paste and vinegar.
  3. Add crushed tomatoes, walnuts and diced tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
  4. Cook pasta according to package directions while sauce is simmering, then drain well.
  5. Heat remaining oil in a small skillet. Add breadcrumbs and red pepper and cook over low heat for 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently.
  6. Place pasta into pasta bowls and top with equal amounts of sauce. (Or toss pasta with sauce before placing in bowls.) Sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon browned breadcrumbs.
  7. Top with fresh basil, if desired.
  8. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.