My friend Chris-anna (who is also my business partner) perfected this recipe. The key is in the chopping of all of the ingredients. You want to finely mince everything. That and cooking the onions for a really long time. Oh, and also the reduction for hours at the end.
What you end up with is this ridiculous, rich, thick yum-of-a-sauce. Perfect for layering between slices of grilled polenta or tossing with some whole wheat rigatoni or served on top of some crusty crostini. You really cannot go wrong with this sugo.
But you've gotta have the time to make it . . .
Show-Someone-You- Love-Them Vegetable Sugo
Cooking time: This dish takes hours and is great to make while you are either cooking other dishes.
4 cups onion, finely minced
1 ½ oz. dried porcini mushrooms
4 cups warm water
3 cup celery stalks, finely minced
3 cup carrots, finely minced
2 cups baby portabella mushrooms, finely minced
1 bulb garlic, peeled and squeezed with garlic press or minced
2 cups Italian parsley
¼ tsp. dried oregano
¼ tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. rosemary
1 cup dry red wine
30 oz tomato sauce
2 bay leaves
2 low sodium vegetable bouillon cubes (crumbed)
pepper to taste (or not)
In a soup pot, sauté onion over medium high heat for about 15 minutes. You can dry sauté at first. The onions should have enough moisture to keep them from sticking to the post. After the first 15 minutes, turn the heat to medium and continue to cook for another 30 minutes. At this point you can add stock as needed to keep onion from sticking to pot. The onions will be very soft and golden brown. This step is KEY. The onions need to cook for a good, long time.
Because the onions take a long time to cook down, this is a good time to prepare the other ingredients.
Soak dried mushrooms in 4 cups warm water.
After onions have cooked down, add celery and carrots to pot and cook 10 more minutes.
Bring heat back to medium high and add the portabella mushrooms, garlic, parley, oregano, thyme and rosemary. Stir and cook about 5 minutes.
Drain mushrooms, reserving liquid. (You can pour the liquid through a paper towel or coffee filter to remove any fine grit.)
Finely mince porcini mushrooms and add to pot.
Push all ingredients in the pot to the outside edge, leaving the center of the pot clear and open. Add the wine and cook wine down for about three minutes.
Next add the tomato sauce, reserved mushroom liquid, bay leaves and bouillon cubes.
Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook for 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally.
Remove cover and cook on medium until much of the liquid cooks off, leaving a rich, dark, thick sauce (about ½ hour).
Salt and pepper to taste.
This sauce is great served over baked polenta, pasta, gnocchi or ravioli.
What are you making this weekend?