Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mushroom Bolognese Recipe

From “The Italian Dish” blog, this recipe is a great meat alternative. Another fall comfort food!  What could be better on a cold day than (homemade) pasta with a delicious sauce???

Mushroom Bolognese
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
2 medium sized celery ribs, diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, grated or minced
3/4 cup red wine
1 pound mushrooms (a mix of mostly baby bellas and some shiitake or your choice), chopped
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
11/2 cups beef (or vegetable, if you want this to be vegetarian) broth
1 (15-ounce) can whole tomatoes, crushed
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce or puree
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme

Soak dried porcini mushrooms in 1 cup of very warm water and let sit for 20 minutes.  Strain through a cheesecloth or a coffee filter and keep the liquid.  Do not use a metal mesh strainer for this step - it is not fine enough.  Chop the mushrooms. 
Sauté onion, carrot and celery in a large pot in the olive oil with a big pinch of kosher or sea salt and a few grindings of pepper.  Let the vegetables cook for about 8 minutes on low heat.  Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Increase heat and add the wine.  Cook for 5 minutes, making sure the wine is simmering. Add the mushrooms.

 Add the rest of the ingredients, including the reserved porcini mushroom liquid. Simmer, uncovered, for about an hour to an hour and a half, until the sauce has reduced down and a lot of the liquid has cooked off - cook until you like the thickness of the sauce.  Taste for salt and adjust seasoning.

 This recipe will be more than enough to coat a pound of pasta.  If you don't use all the sauce, it's great the next day or you can freeze it.

Helen’s Note: If you can’t get/don’t want porcini mushrooms, use more fresh mushrooms and add 1 cup liquid (water, broth, wine, etc.) You can use all button mushrooms, baby bellas or your choice.

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