18 February 2011

Mushroom Ragu

We've been going veggie in this household, the last 3 and a bit weeks we have only eaten veggie evening meals (except for a couple of slip ups, one involving takeaway pizza) which has made me more creative and I have tried lots of new recipes.

This mushroom ragu is one of my favourite meals from the last few weeks because it is so MEATY and really easy to put together. Other highlights from our veggie adventure include Ottolenghi's black pepper tofu and pasta puttanesca. You must try the tofu, it will convert you if you don't like tofu- but you must use silken tofu as stated.

Anyway, onto the ragu. You can use any mushrooms you have, about 300gs serves 2 people, I had some mini portobello mushrooms (yes I admit I bought them because they were cute) which I put in. A mixture of different interesting mushrooms would be lovely, maybe with a few dried mushrooms thrown in.

Mushroom Ragu
serves 2

half an onion or 3 shallots
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp tomato puree
approx 300ml passata or pureed tomatoes
300g mushrooms, sliced
dried or fresh herbs - oregano, thyme, basil - about 2 tsp if dried, handful if fresh.
bay leaf
dash of chili flakes

Fry the garlic and the shallots in some olive oil, then add in the mushrooms and cook for a couple of minutes. Then add in your tomato puree and passata with your herbs, bay leaf and chili. Season.
Bring to the boil and then simmer very gently for about 15minutes, stirring every now and again.
I read somewhere that a splash of milk or cream at the end is lovely in ragu, so I always add some in, it takes the acidity out of the tomatoes.
Serve with spaghetti and parmesan on top (apparently parmesan is not veggie but you can sub with cheddar or maybe some nice feta?).

This is so rich and comforting, definitely cured my craving for a proper meat ragu.