Quick Mushroom Ragu

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Mmmmmmm…My stomach growling remembering this dish.   I came home from work one day, feeling defeated, and battling some sort of dreary freezing rain outside.  All I really wanted was COMFORT FOOD, and for me, comfort food is PASTA.

(uh, yeah, and maybe bacon too….)

A traditional ragu simmers for a long time,  but I needed comfort food and I needed it fast.  This ragu uses hearty fresh and dried mushrooms that gives the ragu its meaty quality, yet is on the table in 30 minutes.

Oh, and did I mention bacon? Because that’s in there too….

I live by the philosophy that EVERYTHING is better with bacon.

Start by microwaving the chicken broth and porcini mushrooms together in a bowl covered with plastic wrap until steaming, about 1 minute.  Let the bowl sit until the mushrooms have softened, about 5 minutes more.  Drain the mushrooms through a fine-mesh sieve lined with a coffee filter or piece of paper towel, reserve the broth, and finely chop the mushrooms.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat until shimmering.  Add 3 to 4 pieces of bacon and cook until crispy, 3 to 5 minutes.  Add the chopped porcinis, remaining tablespoon of olive oil, portabella pieces, sliced garlic, tomato paste, and rosemary.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated and the tomato paste starts to brown, about 5 to 7 minutes.

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Stir in the reserved mushroom broth from the re-hydrated porcinis and the crushed tomatoes, increase the heat to high, and bring to a simmer.   Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti or linguine in salted water to al dente.  Drain the pasta from the water, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

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Add the pasta to the sauce, adjust the seasonings, and add the reserved cooking water as needed to adjust the consistency.  Serve with cheese and enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 oz dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • A few slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 tsp minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained, roughly crushed by hand
  • Salt and pepper
  • Grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Serves 2

Adapted Recipe, America’s Test Kitchen, “Cooking for Two: 2012

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Categories: Pasta, Recipes

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