Mushroom Bolognese with Gremolata

Mushroom Bolgonese

While I’m usually a huge fan of cooking in for Valentine’s Day, Matt and I went to one of our favorite restaurants, Posto, last Friday for a belated Valentine’s meal. We’ve been making an effort to eat out less lately, so going out these year seemed more special.

When we do go to Posto, we usually sit at the bar and share either a couple of pizzas or a pasta and a pizza. This time, one of the dishes we shared was a Ricotta and Lemon Agnolotti with Mushroom Bolognese. Um, it was heaven. We deduced that the “bolognese” was getting its meaty texture from chopped, dried mushrooms.

So this week, I set out to recreate that mushroom bolognese.

Bolognese Veggies

To make it a somewhat healthy weeknight meal, I used a heap of fresh creminis, carrots, celery, and onion in addition to the dried mushrooms. I also used a whole wheat linguine instead of a stuffed pasta. Next time, though, I would try it with either a fresh pasta or a shape like rigatoni that would stick to the sauce better.

Gremolata

Matt had the idea to top the mushroom bolognese with a gremolata – a mix of finely chopped fresh garlic, parsley, and lemon zest – to give it that punch of freshness we were lacking by not using the lemony agnolotti. It worked like a charm.

I hate to describe vegetarian food as “meaty,” but the combination of the fresh and dried mushrooms, red wine, tomatoes, and a touch of soy sauce was, well, meaty tasting. Now I’ll have to try to recreate those agnolotti…

Mushroom Bolognese with Gremolata

Yield: 4-6 servings

Mushroom Bolognese with Gremolata

Ingredients

    For the Bolognese:
  • 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup dry red wine
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, minced (or pulsed in a food processor)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, pureed (see note at the bottom)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 pound pasta (I used whole wheat linguine)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • For the Gremolata:
  • 1/2 cup parsley, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 teaspoons lemon zest (about 3 lemons worth), minced
  • 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt (I used Maldon)

Instructions

  • Soak the dried mushrooms in the hot water for about 30 minutes. Strain, reserving the soaking liquid. Finely chop the dried mushrooms and set aside.
  • Heat the olive oil in a high sided skillet or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until all the vegetables are softened. Mine took almost 30 minutes, but the time will depend on the heat of your stove and the size of your veggies.
  • Turn up the heat to medium-high and add the garlic. Cook until softened and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the red wine and cook for a few minutes until almost completely evaporated.
  • Add the mushrooms and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste, stir to incorporate, and then add the pureed tomatoes, bay leaves, oregano, 1/2 cup of the reserved porcini broth, and soy sauce. Taste along the way, and add additional salt and pepper if necessary.
  • Bring the sauce to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for about 30 minutes, thinning with additional porcini broth if necessary.
  • Combine the gremolata ingredients and set aside for serving.
  • While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta until it’s just barely al dente. Add the pasta to the sauce along with a small ladle-full of pasta water. Stir to incorporate, and add additional pasta water to thin out if necessary. Add the parmesan and serve with the gremolata sprinkled on top.

Notes

Whole canned tomatoes are generally better quality than canned tomato puree, so I buy whole and then puree them myself.

http://www.culinarycolleen.com/mushroom-bolognese-gremolata/

To end with a shamless plug (sorry), I entered that Rigatoni with Lamb and Eggplant Ragu I made the other week to the American Lamb Board’s Romantic Recipe Challenge. I would greatly appreciate your vote!!

Have you ever tried to recreate a restaurant dish?

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  • http://twitter.com/Daisy_III Kristen

    happy to vote for you! and this is such an incredible and hearty looking meal!

    • http://www.culinarycolleen.com/ Colleen

      Thanks :)

  • http://megan-deliciousdishings.blogspot.com/ Megan

    Love the gremolata on top. The whole dish sounds amazing!

  • http://www.confessionsofachocoholic.com/ Bianca Garcia

    I love Posto! I like trying to recreate restaurant dishes at home, too. This dish sounds fantastic – comforting but not too heavy.

  • http://twitter.com/MichellePC Michelle Collins

    This looks and sounds great, and I totally know what you mean when a veg meal tastes “meaty.” I also love Posto! Such a great spot.

  • http://twitter.com/mewinebrenner Maria Tadic

    This looks really good! I love the idea of the dried porcini mushrooms! I saw on America’s Test Kitchen that they ground up the dried mushrooms to a powder and used it as seasoning to create a really meaty flavor in their sauces!

    • http://www.culinarycolleen.com/ Colleen

      Ohh I like that idea of grinding them!

  • http://twitter.com/TraveleatloveMM Meghan M.

    Wow! This looks absolutely fantastic. I love being inspired by restaurant dishes.

  • mushroomscanada

    This sounds fantastic! I’ve always loved the meaty textures that crimini’s provide. So good!! Thanks for sharing…

    -Shannon

  • http://twitter.com/tri2cook Shannon G

    this looks amazing! definitely trying this one at home… and i still need to get to posto!

  • http://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com/ Joanne (eats well with others)

    I’m always looking for new (and awesome) veg pasta sauces like this to feed both The.Boy and my family…perfection!

  • Amy (Savory Moments)

    Yum! This pasta dish looks hearty and delicious!

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  • http://twitter.com/HipFoodieMom1 Alice Choi

    oh my goodness, this looks fantastic! Bravo to Matt for suggesting to top the mushroom bolognese with a gremolata! Wow, love this!

  • Shirley

    I made this last night and WOW! I have finally finally found a perfect substitute for my meat bolognese sauce. I used to cook with meat, but now living with a vegetarian and can’t cook meat in the house – I don’t miss it at all EXCEPT for my wonderful bolognese sauce. This recipe is a perfect remedy, Thank you!! The only thing I couldn’t understand was why use a combination of dried and fresh mushrooms… I found the closest match to dried porcini in an Asian Market and the sauce still turned out wonderful…I also tripled the amount of garlic. Thanks for posting this!

    • http://www.culinarycolleen.com/ Colleen

      Glad you liked it! I used the dried mushrooms for a deeper flavor, and the fresh for a slightly different flavor and texture. I think most types of dried mushrooms would work fine!



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