“I’m not a chef, I’m Italian”- David Rocco


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Mushroom Ragu



Ciao a tutti!! I love a really hearty ragu. Something rich, intense and meaty. But sometimes, I don’t actually feel like eating meat. I know, shocking right? It’s true. The fact is, I used to be a vegetarian and even though I do eat meat now (and I absolutely love it!) I don’t eat it that often. I probably have it a couple of times a week. This Mushroom Ragu is so amazing; you will not even miss the meat. I promise. In fact, I first made this sauce for my family and my brother (a big meat fan) said he couldn’t believe how incredible the sauce was. He didn’t need the meat! The mushrooms get nice and tender and all of the herbs add a wonderful depth of flavor, trust me. You will fall in love with this ragu. I served it over fresh tortellini, but of course you can serve it over whatever pasta you want, you could also serve it over polenta for something a little different.


Mushroom Ragu

2 ½ pounds fresh mixed mushrooms
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 sprig fresh sage
¼ cup olive oil
4 tbsp. butter
2 cups of shallots, finely chopped
½ tsp. salt
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 cup dry Marsala
Black pepper
4 cups vegetable broth

Put the oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. When the butter melts, add the shallots and ¼ tsp. salt, stir well. Cook until they’re shiny and wilted, but don’t let them brown!

Pour all of the mushrooms into the pan and toss them. Sprinkle another ¼ tsp. salt, drop in all of the herbs, raise the heat a little and cover the pan. Cook covered for about 3 minutes. 

Uncover and continue to cook over faily high heat, stirring for around 5 minutes. When the pan is dry and the mushrooms begin to brown, drop in the tomato paste and mix it in with the mushrooms.

When everythign is sizzling, pour the Marsala all over. Stir as the wine thickens and evaporates. Pour in 4 cups of vegetable stock. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cover the pan. Cook for about 20 minutes, occassionally stirring and adding stock to keep the mushrooms covered in liquid.

Uncover the pan and cook for another 20 minutes and adding stock as needed. When the mushrooms and tender and sauce is relatively thick, take the herbs out. Serve over some nice fresh pasta. Buon Appetito!!