RECIPE

Quick Bean and Porcini Ragu

This vegetarian ragu is a healthy and hearty meal.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 ounce (about 1/2 cup) dried porcini mushrooms
  • 3 cups vegetable stock, divided
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped, plus a few tablespoons chopped leaves, for garnish
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cans cannellini beans or Roman beans (15 ounces each), drained, divided
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 pound bucatini or spaghetti
  • Grated Pecorino cheese

Preparation

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.


In a small pot, simmer the mushrooms in 1 1/2 cups of the stock to soften, about 10 minutes.


In a large, deep skillet, heat the EVOO, three turns of the pan, over medium- high. Add the celery, onion, carrot, garlic and bay leaf; season with salt and pepper. Partially cover and cook until the vegetables soften, about 10 minutes.


Meanwhile, in a food processor, puree half the beans with the remaining 1 1/2 cups stock.


Add the wine to the pan, cook for 30 seconds, then stir in the pureed beans and the remaining whole beans.


Using a slotted spoon, remove the mushrooms from the pot. Chop the mushrooms, then stir into the bean mixture. Pour in the mushroom stock, being careful not to add the last few spoonfuls where grit may have settled. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the ragu as the pasta cooks.


Salt the boiling water, then cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving half a mug of the starchy cooking water. Stir the starchy cooking water into the ragu, then toss the pasta with the ragu and some cheese. Sprinkle with the chopped celery leaves.

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