Enjoy this classic bolognese sauce – vegetarian-style!
- 1 ounce dried mushrooms, such as porcini or mixed wild mushrooms
- 2 cups water or chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 3 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
- 4 portabella mushrooms, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 small carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1 small celery rib, chopped
- 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
- Salt and pepper
- Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 1 can crushed tomatoes (14 ounces) or tomato puree
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 pound fettuccine pasta
- A handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- Grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Place the dried mushrooms in a small pot and cover with water or chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and steep.
Heat a heavy pot over medium to medium-high heat with two turns of the pan EVOO. When hot, add the butter and melt into the EVOO, then add the portabellas, onion, carrot, celery, garlic and bay leaf. Sauté until tender, 15 minutes, then season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the wine and reduce for 2 minutes to evaporate. Add the crushed or pureed tomatoes and stir. Reduce the heat.
Remove the dried mushrooms from the steeping liquid and chop. Stir into the sauce. Add the steeping liquid, reserving the last few spoonfuls in the pot, as any grit on the mushrooms will have settled there. Stir in the milk. Simmer over low heat for 20-30 minutes to thicken.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and cook the pasta to al dente. Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce. Serve in shallow bowls, topped with the parsley and Pecorino Romano cheese.