MUSHROOM RAGÙ

have been struggling a bit this week with the changing of the calendar. You know the usual end of summer denial… Leaving the windows open when they should be closed; wearing loafers when I should be wearing boots; judging those people wearing tights (it’s only the first week of September people!!) when my bare legs are freezing.

So this weekend I had to ask myself: Do I embrace fall? Or do I continue to fight it off as long as possible?

You see my summer has been pretty amazing. Not going to lie I’d be jealous of my summer, and a few more weeks of it would be great. I spent a good portion of my summer at home on the East Coast, which meant I walked the dogs on the beach, I ate a ridiculous amount of seafood

, I had some fantastic wines and craft beer, and I visited old favorites and dined at a new favorite. Plus all this eating, drinking, and touring around was done with family and dear friends. As I said my summer was pretty seriously amazing!

Given all this amazingness it’s no wonder I want to fight off fall!!

The thing is I like fall. It’s cozy. You get to make stews, soups, and roasts again. You get to wear sweaters. You can spend an afternoon curled up with a cup of tea and a good book under a blanket.

If I’m honest it feels like fall. I’m back at school, the temperature took a serious drop this week, and even though my internal struggle has prevented me from bringing my boots out of the closet – it is boot weather.

Salads for dinner are just not cutting it, neither are smoothies for breakfast. All I want is toast and pasta. If craving carbs is not a sign the season has officially changed I’m not sure what it!

 

Another addition to the pro column for embracing fall is all of the delicious produce at the farmers market. Apples, garlic, mushrooms, zucchini and squashes, beets, and brussels sprouts oh my! Yes the early days of fresh summer berries, asparagus, beans and peas are delightful, exciting and rejuvenating even. But in my humble opinion September is really when markets begin to shine.  Given my current state of wanting carbs all day long, it’s a darn good thing I feel this way about fall vegetables.

Okay so maybe I should stop fighting it, and just embrace fall. It can’t be that bad…

Especially if it means pasta like this mushroom ragù for dinner!

This recipe ticks all the right boxes for embracing fall. It is rich and hearty, gorgeously fragrant while cooking the mushrooms and thyme. It is also quick, easy thanks to chopping the vegetables in a food processor, and reheats exceptionally well for a packed lunch – because if you are anything like me at the moment, the struggle is real adapting to a set schedule and new commitments.

Alright it is time, it may not be September 21, but it is fall. Time to face the changing season and all that implies. But if you are like me with a serious case of summer is over denial give this recipe a try, it is sure to help! Enjoy!

Mushroom Ragù

The ragù can be made vegetarian by using vegetable stock, instead of beef.

Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • 2 medium carrots, peeled

  • ½ medium onion

  • 10 white mushrooms

  • ½ pound mixed wild mushrooms

  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme

  • ¾ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 cup beef stock + ¼ cup

  • 8 ounces rigatoni noodles, (2 cups)

  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • ½ cup reduced-fat sour cream

  • Chopped fresh parsley

  • Extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions

  • Using a food processor, add the garlic and process until minced, then add carrots and mushrooms and process until finely chopped. Add onion, and pulse until roughly chopped.

  • Heat a large skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Heat olive oil and then add the mixed wild mushrooms. Sautéed until soft then set aside in a covered dish.

  • Add the chopped vegetables, thyme, salt and pepper to the skillet. Stir often, until the vegetables start to soften and the mushrooms release their juices, 5 to 7 minutes.

  • In the meantime combine water, broth, and Worcestershire sauce; bring to a boil. Add pasta, cover, and cook until the pasta is tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

  • Whisk flour with the remaining ¼ cup broth in a small bowl until smooth; stir into the mushroom mixture. Stir in the sour cream and simmer, stirring often, until the sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes.

  • Mix with the pasta and serve sprinkled with sautéed wild mushrooms and parsley.

Are you ready for fall? Or still hanging on to summer? What are your favorite recipes for using fresh fall vegetables?

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