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  • Stephen M McAllister

Balsamic Mushroom Bolognese

I developed this recipe at work for a shoot at Amazon, which means no wine in the Bolognese!! Balsamic vinegar was a great substitute for the slight tang and sweetness. It added so much depth of flavor that I added more the next time. I hope you enjoy this hearty, full-flavored meal. Serve it over fresh tagliatelle, like the photo, or try it over roasted spaghetti squash or acorn squash for a lighter option.

Helpful Hack for this recipe: buy presliced mushrooms, that are already cleaned, and then use a food processor or mini chop for the mushrooms/ vegetables

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp butter

2 lb mushrooms, such as cremini and shiitake, finely chopped

1 large red onion, finely chopped

2 large or 3 medium carrots, finely chopped

3 stalks celery, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1, 4 oz can tomato paste

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1, 28 oz can whole peeled san marzano tomatoes

small bundle of rosemary and thyme, wrapped with butcher's twine

*a Parmesan rind adds extra flavor, save the rinds!

Heat olive oil and butter in large pot over medium-high. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden-brown, about 8 minutes. *(Browning the mushrooms well, without stirring too much, is important to develop a rich, meaty, nutty flavor.)* Add the onion, carrots, and celery, season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the tomato paste, stir to coat vegetables, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the balsamic vinegar and stir to deglaze bottom of pot. Add tomatoe, herb bundle, and a cup of water, and bring to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes until reduced and vegetables are tender.

Remove herb bundle. Serve over fresh pasta or roasted squash, such as spaghetti or acorn.

*For the squash, cut in half, remove seeds. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast, cut-side-down until tender, about 30 minutes at 425F.

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