Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mushroom Ragu

My kids don't particularly like mushrooms. While I grew up eating a variety of wild mushrooms as well as the more commonly available button mushrooms or, how we called them, 'champignons', I find it very hard to find wild mushrooms in the shops.
I suppose Prahran Market would have some during the Autumn months, but I'm in the country now and short of going to collect them myself, I'll make do with what is available.

So, I love mushrooms and when I saw this recipe, I had to give it a go. Even though that meant that the kids would kick up a fuss and dinner would become an ordeal and a test of our parenting skills.

Of course I never have ALL of the required ingredients, but this time I almost nailed it. Only one of the main ingredients was missing...the black olive tepanade. But seriously, who has that in their pantry anyway??? Well, now I have to go and buy myself a jar just for the day I stumble onto another recipe like this...

And of course i did try to convince Mr. P to whip up some fresh tagliatelle when he got home from work, but he didn't think that was such a good idea. So the dried spaghetti had to do it. But that is the art of home cooking I think; make a fabulous meal for your family with the ingredients you have at hand. We haven't got the time to source all the gourmet produce that is out there, all the imported delicacies that one MUST have in the pantry. While I am a sucker for real Parmigiano, there is a limit to what I am prepared to buy in the name of authenticity.
While the term 'ragu' usually refers to a slow cooked meat sauce, the mushrooms in this sauce really have a very earthy, almost meaty flavor and texture. The black olive tepanade would have given it another dimension and I probably will try it out. But nevertheless, it was a great sauce and is to become a family favorite because we all loved it and because it is such a great meat replacement.

No comments: