$10 or Less Meal - Rigatoni with Mushroom Sauce



  • 1/2 ounce dried mushrooms *You can increase this amount to 1 ounce if you want-I used 1/2 for budget purposes
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, or 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 6-8 ounces fresh mushrooms (I used button), trimmed, wiped clean and sliced
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 14-oz can plum tomatoes, drained, juices reserved
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3/4 pound rigatoni
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

I did try the mushroom sauce using just fresh button mushrooms and then tried it with dried mushrooms mixed with the fresh, and it really did make a difference. Using the dried mushrooms gave the sauce a more earthy and flavorful taste. I used dried oyster mushrooms but if you want to spend a little more, or can find them on sale, dried porcini mushrooms would add even more richness.


  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 navel oranges
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, preferably extra-virgin
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • pinch of sugar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 cups washed, dried and torn romaine lettuce



In a small bowl, soak dried mushrooms in 1 cup hot water for 15 to 20 minutes. Drain, reserving the soaking liquid. Strain the soaking liquid through a coffee filter or paper towel-lined strainer and set aside. Rinse and chop the mushrooms.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic cloves and cook, stirring occasionally, until light golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Discard the garlic. (I love garlic so I actually chopped the garlic up after it cooked and added it back in to the sauce later…but it makes it very garlicy). Add onions, 1 tablespoon of the parsley and oregano; cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened, 4 to 5 minutes.

Increase heat to medium-high. Add fresh mushrooms, the reserved dried mushrooms and nutmeg; saute until the mushrooms begin to soften, 3 to 4 minutes.

Stir in the reserved soaking liquid, tomatoes and about half of their juice. Bring to a boil, breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the juices have reduced slightly, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons parsley.

Meanwhile, cook rigatoni in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, about 12 to 15 minutes. Drain and transfer to a serving dish. Spoon the mushroom sauce on top and sprinkle with Parmesan and additional pepper.


Soak onions in cold water for 10 minutes; drain. With a sharp knife, peel oranges, removing white pith. Slice.

In a salad bowl, whisk together orange juice, oil, mustard, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper. Add lettuce, onions and orange slices. Toss well.