Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Piccolini with Mushroom & Tomato Ragu

The Recipe:

1 carrot, grated
1 onion, minced
1 stalk of celery, grated
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup red wine
3 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 lb Piccolini Pasta(Mini Farfalle)
1/2 cup grated cheese (e.g. Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino)

Garlic Powder, Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme, Nutmeg, Salt, Black Pepper
(See "Notes" below for more information on spices.)

Heat onion, celery & carrot in the olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook about 5 mins and then add mushrooms. Season with salt, pepper and about 1/2 of the spices. Cook about 10 more mins or until veggies are translucent and soft.

Pour in wine and deglaze pan allowing alcohol to evaporate.

Add tomatoes, sugar and remaining spices. Mix well, bring to light boil and reduce to simmer, cooking for an additional hour, stirring occasionally.

Cook pasta, drain and add to pan, mix well and stir in cheese. Enjoy!


- For spices, 1/2 tbsp of Oregano, 1 tsp Rosemary,
   1 tsp Thyme and a good pinch of crushed red pepper & nutmeg were used.
   Fresh garlic can be used instead of 1 tbsp of garlic powder.
   Season according to your taste.

- I purposely chop some of the mushrooms with my wooden spoon when cooking. It's helps make it more of a "Ragu".

- The remaining stubs after grating the carrot and celery were chopped and thrown into the frying pan. You can chop additional amounts and add if desired.

- The celery had nice leaves so they were chopped and also used.

- The sugar helps to cut some of the acid from the tomatoes and adds a little sweetness.

- Use whatever wine you enjoy drinking or have open. White will work just as well or omit it all together. Vegetable broth can be used instead. It's all about the flavor.

- I've made this omitting the onion for onion-allergic guests. And it came out just fine!

- Farfalle/Piccolini is the same as "Bow-Tie" Pasta.