Hmmm… mushrooms.. I do love mushrooms… I honestly could eat them almost every day.. I can think of hundreds of ways to eat them.. and I probably have hundreds of recipes that have mushrooms in them. It may not be everybody’s thing.. but it definitely is mine.
I wanted to make a Mushroom Ragu and found a recipe from Giada De Laurentiis… admittedly I only scanned the recipe before deciding to make it.. quite honestly it had the right main ingredient.. mushrooms. It wasn’t until I started gathering all the ingredients.. did I realize.. this recipe is basically a Marsala .. without the chicken or veal…. and if you like Marsala … and like mushrooms.. then you will like this.
When I made this I ended up making a few changes… so read on…
Use a drinkable quality Marsala wine.. it’s not expensive.. in fact.. it ends up cheaper to buy then one of those “cooking wine” bottles.
The recipe calls for mixed mushrooms… they can be hard to find in places outside large cities… you can substitute any mushrooms you can get… I know some mushrooms like oyster and shitake mushrooms are more expensive.. but they do give the dish an earthy flavor.. I also used some sliced baby bella mushrooms… that also adds flavor.
The recipe calls for heavy cream… my local store was out of heavy cream (can you believe that???) so I grabbed a container of half and half… when I got home I saw it was fat free half and half… well I wasn’t about to go back… so I used it.. and it worked out fine… I added about 2 teaspoons of cornstarch to the half and half before I added it into the dish… the consistency of the half and half was close to heavy cream and thickened the ragu perfectly… so if you want to substitute.. feel free.
If you want to go totally vegetarian… use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
I cut the oil way back.. her recipe calls for ¼ cup olive oil… you don’t need that much. I also used some butter in place of some of the olive oil.. I like to add the flavor of butter in my Marsala. Start with 1 tablespoon of each and add a bit more if needed… I only added a quick drizzle of more olive oil when I put the mushrooms in.
And finally … I used dried basil instead of fresh.
This was delicious over gnocchi… noodles, pasta or rice would all be good too!
Recipe: Mushroom Ragu
All you need:
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound mixed mushrooms (cremini, oyster, shitake), chopped (see TIPS)
½ cup Marsala
2 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup heavy cream (see TIPS)
1 teaspoon dried basil
¼ cup flat leafed Italian parsley, chopped
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
All you need to do:
In a large skillet heat the butter and oil over medium low heat.
Add the onions and garlic, stirring to coat with the butter and oil. Cook until onions are soft.
Add the mushrooms, stir to coat with the butter and oil. Turn the heat to medium high and cook until mushrooms are soft and all the liquid has evaporated.
Remove the skillet from the heat and add the wine. Return the skillet to the heat and allow the wine to cook for about 3 minutes.
Add the dried basil and stir well.
Add the chicken broth and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the sauce has reduced by half.
Add the heavy cream and mix well.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add the chopped parsley.
Add the Parmesan cheese and stir well.
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