By David Harbilas
Bolognese is a traditional Italian sauce made of a mixture of ground meats, pork, beef, and veal.
Here the sauce is made with a mixture of chopped mushrooms, and while the original does contain tomatoes, either as a paste or from a can, this version benefits from the different textures and sweetness of roasted, stewed, and sun-dried tomatoes.
This is a fairly time-consuming sauce, so it is something to do on those days when you’re staying in or planning to entertain on a special occasion.
Like most Bolognese sauces it goes best with a wide-noodled pasta, like papardelle or fettucine.
Makes about Â½ gallon of sauce
- 8 plum tomatoes
- 8 ounces sundried tomatoes, julienned
- 2 cans plum tomatoes
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 rib celery, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 pound white mushrooms, diced
- 3 large Portobello mushrooms, diced
- 1 ounce porcini mushrooms
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. For the roasted tomatoes, cut the plum tomatoes in half lengthwise, place on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for about 1 Â½ hours, or until slightly charred and shriveled. Remove, cool thoroughly and chop roughly. For the sun-dried tomatoes and porcini mushrooms, bring 1 cup of water to a boil and pour half over each of the tomatoes and mushrooms to soften and rehydrate. Let them stand in the hot water for 20-30 minutes, until soft.
Strain the tomatoes and mushrooms, reserving the liquid from each. Meanwhile, begin the sauce by heating about Â¼ cup of olive oil in a large sautÃ© pan. Saute the onion, carrots and celery for 3-5 minutes, or until soft and fragrant. Add the chopped white mushrooms and portobellos. Cook for 6-8 minutes, or until the mushrooms are soft and have given up a lot of their juice. Add the garlic, thyme, bay leaf and white wine. Cook for about 8-10 minutes, or until the juice has reduced by at least half.
Add the soaking liquid of both the tomatoes and mushrooms and reduce by half again. Add the porcini mushrooms, canned tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, and roasted tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes, or until the mix begins to simmer. Add the stock and cook at a simmer for 1 Â½ hours, until slightly thick. Add the heavy cream and cook an additional 20 minutes. Serve hot, over pasta.