Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Rigatoni (or Penne) with Vegetable Bolognese

This was really freakin' good!

I saw Giada make this dish on an episode of Food Network's Everyday Italian. The next day, I found the recipe on the Food Network website, printed it out, and stashed it in a kitchen drawer.

I finally got around to making this vegetable bolognese on Saturday. I followed the recipe as written, except that I omitted the dried porcini mushrooms. The two grocery stores I went to on Saturday simply did not have them.

I love the texture and simplicity of this dish. I would rank this dish among my vegetarian faves.

Definitely a keeper.

Rigatoni (or Penne) with Vegetable Bolognese
Serves approximately 4

3 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, finely chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 ounces assorted mushrooms, e.g., shitake, cremini, and brown, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1 pound rigatoni or penne pasta
Parmesan cheese, grated, for garnishing

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Toss the carrots, onions, bell peppers, and garlic in a food processor. Pulse several times (5 to 7 times) until the vegetables are finely chopped, yet still chunky.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped vegetables, thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper. Cook until the vegetables become soft, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and tomato paste, and continue cooking until the mushrooms become soft, about 5 minutes.

At this time, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the directions on the package (approximately 9-11 minutes).

Pour the red wine into the skillet. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and continue cooking until half of the liquid has been reduced, about 5-10 minutes. Stir in the mascarpone cheese.

Drain the pasta when it is done cooking, making sure to reserve a 1/2 cup of pasta water. Add the pasta to the skillet and toss. (If additional moisture is needed, add the reserved pasta water to the skillet.)

Serve in a bowl. Garnish with the grated parmesan cheese.


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