Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Chestnut Mushrooms in deep red sauce

This is a good versatile pasta sauce. I use it for lasagne. I add veggie ‘meat’ balls to it too . I usually make it over the weekend, so that we have enough for two meals over the working week. Once the sauce is made, the rest of the meal really just takes minutes. This recipe requires cooking with extra virgin olive oil. I don’t often cook with extra virgin olive oil, its usually used as a dip or drizzle, but in this case I do think it adds a flavour, a depth that you cannot achieve with plain olive oil.

Versatile Italian Red Sauce
(makes about 375ml)
5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 x 400g tinned tomato sauce
1 small carrot, peeled and halved lengthwise
1 small onion, peeled and halved
1 celery stick, cleaned and halved
Sprig of parsley
2 whole cloves of garlic
Salt to taste
Blend the tinned tomatoes in a food processor. Then combine all the ingredients in a large pot and cook over medium heat. As soon as the sauce comes to the boil, reduce to a simmer and continue to cook for 20 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Taste and add seasoning. If the sauce is too sharp for your liking add another tablespoon of olive oil and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Remove the aromatic vegetables with a slotted spoon and use the sauce as desired.
For the Chestnut Mushrooms
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
300g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 small onion, finely sliced

Saute the onion and crushed garlic in olive oil, until caramelised. Add the mushrooms and cook until they are browned. Then add the tomato sauce. Stir well to combine the ingredients and bring to a simmer.

Serve with pasta or plain boiled rice.

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