Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Mushroom Madness

Mushrooms, tomatoes and tomato taste about to
simmer into a fantastic Mushroom Bolognese!
Mushrooms hit the top of my list when it comes to working with vegetables.  Way beyond the routine stuffed fungi and grilled portobella burgers, this Mushroom Bolognese  simmers in my kitchen sending me in a transe remembering the forests of Tuscany!  Who needs to write more  when you can spend the time making it.  I find either grinding or using the shredder attachment on the food processor offers a more robust result as when you just chop the mushrooms in the bowl of the processor, the result can be more watery.  However, it is all about the end texture you want. Try it both ways on seperate days and let me know which one your prefer.  The juniper, clove and allspice kick in with a rustic flavor and heady aroma.  Be sure the wine is not too acidic or the end result will be a bit tannic.  If that does happen add a pinch of sugar and make a note to self to use a softer wine next time.  Toss on spaghetti, layer into lasagne, serve with roasted eggplant or a meat or poultry you fancy.  You might find that this is so good that you get possessed and Mushroom Madness urges you to keep eating it before it hits the pasta! 

Mushroom Bolognese
Meal Occasion: Dinner, Brunch and Lunch
Prep Time:        20 minutes
Cook Time:       25 minutes
Serves:                4

1 1/2     lbs    crimini mushrooms
1 1/2     lbs   portobella mushrooms
1                    medium onion, cleaned and cut in half
3                    medium size carrots, peeled
2                    stalks of celery, washed
4           cl      garlic, peeled
1           lb     tomatoes, cored, and cut into fine dice
1           Tbl   tomato paste
1            c      red wine
1           teas  red chili pepper, finely chopped
1/2        teas  bay leaf, crumbled fine
1/2        teas  cinnamon, ground
1/2        teas  allspice, ground
3/4        teas  clove, ground
pinch             juniper berry, dried, ground
sea salt and pepper to taste
2            Tbl   olive oil
cooked pasta of your choice

Using the shredder attachment of the food processor, individual grind and set aside each of the first six ingredients.   Heat a 10 inch skillet to medium and add the olive oil.  Toss in the onion, carrot, celery and garlic and simmer, stirring.  Cook about five minutes.  Add the mushrooms and stir.  Cook another four to five minutes.  Stir in the tomato paste.  Add the wine, chili pepper, herb and spices.  Simmer gently about 15 minutes, stirring every five minutes or so.  Season to taste.