Monday, June 29, 2015

Mushroom Ragu

One of the things that I really cut back on when I was trying to lose weight was pasta. But sometimes I just really want a good, hearty bowl of pasta. But I knew I could make something that still tasted wonderful but might be slightly healthier than your regular meat sauce. Insert one of my favorite veggies - mushrooms! 

To start, I took an entire package of button mushrooms and diced them finely using this chopper I have. You can easily just put them in the food processor and pulse it a few times until you get a coarse consistency. Basically, the mushrooms will look like ground beef when cooked, so you want the pieces smaller than a pea, but not much smaller. 

My secret to this sauce is the marsala wine I add to the ragu. I'm going to preach here for a second - DON'T buy that cheap stuff in the vinegar aisle that's $4 a bottle. Spend the extra $6 for this better (this brand or similar brands - I'm not endorsing one particular brand) $10 bottle of Marsala wine. First of all, you get more for that $10, but you'll also get a MUCH better flavor out of it.

I whipped up some garlic parsley butter a few days prior with some fresh herbs my mom gave me from her garden just by softening some unsalted butter, adding in some diced garlic and some minced parsley. I took about a tablespoon of this and sautéed the mushrooms in it.

Don't salt your mushrooms yet, it will make things watery right now, and we don't want that. Once sautéed, add in about 1/2 a cup of the marsala wine and reduce it down. The mushrooms will absorb all of that wonderful flavor and the wine flavor will concentrate.

Once reduced, add your favorite marinara sauce - about 2/3 of a cup and let it cook about 10  minutes. Pour over your favorite pasta and enjoy! This might be my new favorite pasta sauce right now. The marsala adds such a nice flavor and I don't even miss the meat. Enjoy!

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