Mushroom RaguPerfect for Meatless Monday
This is not just a great Vegetarian or even Vegan-Friendly alternative to the Italian Bolognese/Ragu. It is simply a GREAT dish! Like the traditional Bolognese or Ragu, it takes time to make, but it is without a doubt worth it – you will not miss the meat, in fact I think it’s better than the original meat version.
The addition of the dried porcini not only adds umami, but an almost meaty-smokey flavour that you simply don’t get with beef mince.
Mushrooms are quite a ‘meaty’ vegetable so it is not hard to imagine, once ‘minced’/ finely chopped it being a great alternative to mince. It is also a lot healthier, but not lacking in flavour that is sometimes associated with vegetarian or vegan alternatives.
If you don’t add the parmesan at the end, it is a great vegan-friendly dish.
For step-by-step instructions please watch the video below.
This recipe was adapted by a Martha Stewart recipe.
25g dried porcini mushrooms
1 red onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 celery ribs, finely chopped
3 carrots, peeled and finely chopped,
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbls olive oil
500g mixed mushrooms
2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 tsp sugar
1 tbls tomato paste
tsp dried basil
bouquet garni – consisting of rosemary, oreganum, thyme
1 cup water
cooked pasta, plus cooking liquid (about 1/3 cup)
Place porcini mushrooms in a small shallow bowl with just enough hot water to cover. Let stand 30 minutes.
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until onion begins to slightly brown, about 5 minutes. Add carrots and celery; stir to combine. Season, and on a medium-low heat, cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes.
In the meantime, finely chop mushrooms in a food processor and drain porcini mushrooms and finely chop. Add chopped mixed mushrooms and porcini to the pot. Cook stirring occasionally, until liquid is released, about 5 minutes minutes.
Add tomatoes, tomato paste, and sugar. Place, rosemary, thyme and origanum on a piece of cheesecloth, tying with kitchen twine to enclose; add to pot along with teaspoon of dried basil. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low; simmer for 45 minutes.
Add 1 cup water and continue cooking for an additional 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions, until al dente. Drain, reserving some of the cooking water, if desired, and transfer to a large bowl. Add mushroom ragu and toss to combine. Stir in cheese and enough of the pasta water to form a sauce. Garnish with additional cheese and basil.