mushroom ragu with artichokes

In dinner on March 22, 2011 at 12:25 am

i am on a pasta roll these days! (maybe because i know the days of rich, hot, heavy sauces are numbered. oh spring..!)

the beauty of this sauce is that i left the mushrooms in big chunks and didn’t overcook them, so they had great texture. this is the kind of vegetarian dish a meat eater would enjoy and never miss the beef.

also, how well the sweetness of the artichokes worked with the earthiness of the mushrooms was a nice surprise.

i started by sauteeing a couple cloves of minced garlic and a minced shallot in some olive oil.

when they were tender, i mashed in three anchovy fillets (anchovy paste would work well, too) and about a tablespoon of tomato paste.

if you’re anti-anchovy, (stop reading this blog. just kidding. kind of.) you could leave it out, but it’s not like the sauce tastes fishy! they just add a nice depth of flavor and saltiness.

anyway, chop your mushrooms into big-bite-sized pieces – i used portobello caps

and toss to coat.

then add half a can (which i had leftover from something else) of crushed tomatoes and their juice, as well as some thyme, fresh or dried – whatever you have around, and salt and pepper.

the next step is very important. lower the heat and clap the lid on the pan.

both the mushrooms and the tomatoes are releasing juices as we speak that are going to make the sauce-y part of the sauce. if you leave the lid off, they will all evaporate away.

after 5-8 minutes (while your pasta is cooking), take a peek. the mushrooms should be tender but not mushy, and there should be plenty of juice.

add one can of artichoke hearts, quartered, and replace lid just long enough to heat them through.

to finish it off, i added a handful of grated parm and tossed with the pasta. if you find that your sauce is too dry, add a little pasta water (that hopefully you reserved before draining it!)

  1. This looks good. Would you come to my house and cook it for me at 6:30 tomorrow night? You’ll have to bring all the ingredients with you. :)

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