MUSHROOM BOLOGNESE SAUCE

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MUSHROOM BOLOGNESE SAUCE

Even if you aren’t a vegetarian you will love this sauce. It’s full of meaty flavor without using any meat. It’s made with three different kinds of immune-fighting mushrooms, each with their own flavor and specific minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.

If you add a pinch of fennel seeds to the sauce while cooking, it will taste like a meat sauce made with sausages. Try it, you won’t be disappointed!

Cook’s Note

To clean mushrooms, use a damp paper towel or a mushroom brush to wipe each mushroom, one at time, to remove the dirt. Don’t soak mushrooms in water. If you rinse them in water, make sure to dry them well with a paper towel. Mushrooms won’t brown and caramelize nicely if they are damp.

Ingredients

Serves 6 to 8

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

½ yellow onion, peeled and finely diced

3 shallots, peeled and finely diced

4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely diced

2 large (4 ounces each) Portobello mushrooms, stems removed and discarded, finely chopped

12 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and discarded, finely chopped

2 8-ounce packages white or brown button mushrooms, stems removed and discarded, finely chopped

MUSHROOM BOLOGNESE & MUSHROOM SOUP!

1 teaspoon each kosher salt and cracked black pepper

½ cup red wine

1- 6-ounce can tomato paste

1 teaspoon fennel seed, optional

2 cups of water

8 ounces of your favorite pasta

1 cup freshly grated Romano cheese

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

¼ cup finely chopped Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

Crushed red pepper

Instructions

Heat a large cast-iron or heavy bottom skillet on medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add the olive oil, onion, and shallots. Lower the heat to medium, and sauté, stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Add the garlic; sauté 2 minutes more.

Add the Portobello mushrooms and sauté 5 to 8 minutes. Add the shiitake mushrooms and sauté 3 minutes. Add the button mushrooms, salt, and pepper; stir.

After 5 minutes the mushrooms will start to release their liquids. Sautee until the liquid has almost evaporated and you hear a sizzle. Keep turning the mushrooms over to caramelize them until they have turned a deep rich caramelly brown.

Pour in the wine and cook it down for 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and the fennel seeds (if you choose to use fennel) Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the 2 cups of water and stir; turn the heat to low and simmer 30 minutes.

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Before you drain the pasta, save 1 cup of the pasta water.

Drain the pasta well and put it back into the same pot you boiled it in. Add the mushroom sauce, mix well, and increase the heat to high. Mix for about 30 seconds. Add the reserved pasta water 1/4 cup at a time if the sauce is too thick. You want it thick but not like Chili. Mix everything thoroughly.

Serve immediately.

GARNISH with a generous sprinkle of Parmesan and Romano cheese and the parsley. Garnish with the crushed red pepper.

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