Since the beginning of the year I have been teaching some new plant based classes. Personally I am trying to eat plant based about 80% of the time. I am finding that I am really enjoying the challenge of cooking this way, as well as the flavors. And a bonus I just really feel good eating plant based. Here is a Wild Mushroom Ragu that I developed.
The depth of flavor is robust and the texture with the pine nuts and sun dried tomatoes is great. I prefer the sun dried tomatoes that are not packed in oil. I find them in the produce section.Print
Wild Mushroom Ragu
A robust plant based ragu to top pasta, gnocchi and polenta. The flavor is so rich that you do not miss the meat.
2 pounds mixed mushrooms – cremini, oyster, shitake
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 medium carrot finely chopped
1 stalk celery finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic minced
2 tablespoons olive ooil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 red pepper flakes
1/2 cup dry red or white wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
6 ounces sun dried tomatoes chopped (not packed in oil)
1 cup toasted pine nuts
1 1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
2 springs fresh thyme
1 spring fresh rosemary
5 fresh basil leaves
Roughly chop the mushrooms into bite size pieces. Heat the olive oil in a large high sided skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook stirring occasionally. You want to create a robust flavor by caramelizing the mushrooms. This may take up to 10 minutes. You do not want to skip this step and just give the mushrooms a quick saute’. This will create a depth of flavor to your sauce. Now add the garlic and saute’ a few minutes. Your now should be creating a great aroma in your pan. Next up add your mirepoix (carrots, onion, celery). Cook stirring occasionally, about five minutes until veggies are soft.
Pour in your wine of choice and deglaze the pan. Scrape up any brown bits that have collected on the bottom. Cook until the wine starts to evaporate. Add your tomato paste, sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts and vegetable broth. Give a good stir and start adding your herbs and seasonings. Cook on a low simmer for 30 minutes to an hour.
Remove the herbs and bay leaf and serve.
While cooking is sauce becomes thick you can add more vegetable broth. This is also great in making a plant based lasagna !!!