A quick mushroom ragu is what the recipe promised but quick it was not. Delicious however, yes. Shane made this dish with the remaining chanterelles from Sunday's mushroom hunt yesterday afternoon, after a stressful morning at the dog park and stopping at three different stores for the appropriate dried mushrooms. It simmered and bubbled for half an hour while we watched a few episodes of My Drunk Kitchen. Awesome! I would implore you to click this link and laugh your butt off! I can't stop watching.
Anyway the ragu turned out better than I ever could have imagined. It's meat-free of course but totally doesn't feel that way. It's rich and hearty and utterly satisfying, maybe best of all it's not that much work! Shane mostly followed the recipe from Cooks Illustrated and in traditional CI fashion it was perfect. Yeah!
Quick Mushroom Ragu
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup chicken stock
3.5 ounces bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 lb chanterelles (or portobellos), cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 Tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 Tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp minced rosemary leaves
1 15 oz can of tomatoes
salt and pepper
1 lb shell pasta
Place the chicken stock and dried mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Cut several steam vents into the plastic and microwave on high for 1 minute, until broth is steaming. Let stand until the mushrooms are softened, about 10 minutes. Take the mushrooms from the broth with a fork and finely chop. Strain the broth through a fine strainer into a medium bowl. Set aside mushrooms and broth.
Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp, 7-10 minutes. Add chanterelles, chopped porcinis, olive oil, garlic, tomato paste and rosemary. Cook, stirring occasionally until all liquid has evaporated and tomato paste starts to brown, 5-7 minutes. Add the reserved chicken stock, crushed tomatoes and their juices, increase the heat to high and simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened, 15-20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
While the sauce is simmering bring water for pasta to a boil, add salt and cook pasta until al dente (obv!) Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water and return the pasta to the pot. Add reserved water a little at a time until the correct consistency for your ragu is achieved. Combine the sauce with the pasta and taste again for salt and pepper. Serve with parmesan sprinkled on top.