The beefiness of the mushrooms makes it an easy swap-out that hardly makes a difference in taste, but bumps up nutrition and we really enjoyed the textural change as well.
Recipe and photo by Kelly of The Gouda Life.
Prep Time: 20 mins. | Cook Time: 1 hr. 10 mins. | Serves: 6-8
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
2 large carrots, peeled and rough chopped
2 celery stalks, cleaned and rough chopped
1 large onion, rough chopped
2 large cloves garlic
1 lbs cremini mushrooms, rough chopped
1 1/2lbs lean ground beef
1 (156mL) can tomato paste
2 cups red wine or beef stock
4 sprigs thyme
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
basil or parsley, to garnish
red pepper flakes, to garnish
1. Place the carrots, celery, onion and garlic in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.
2. Heat olive oil in a large sauce pot/dutch oven over med-high heat. Add the vegetables puree and cook, stirring every so often, until the liquids have reduced and the veggies are starting to brown and dry out. Add in the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquids from the mushrooms has been released and reduced, about 10-15 minutes. Add in the beef and a few generous pinches of salt. Cook until the beef is cooked through and everything is golden brown and fragrant, another 10-15 minutes.
3. Add in the tomato paste and cook until it’s turned a deep brick red, 5 minutes. Pour in the wine and stir, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Bring to a gentle simmer until wine is almost reduced completely. Taste for salt and add a few more pinches if necessary. Add in just enough water to cover the meat/mushrooms by 1/2″. Cook until that water has reduced and sauce is rich and delicious.
4. While the sauce cooks, bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil and cook the pasta to al dente according to package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the starchy pasta cooking water.
5. Strain the pasta and dump into the sauce. Toss with a few tbsp of the reserved pasta water and Parmesan until the sauce is evenly distributed. Add more water if it gets too tight.
Divide among bowls and serve with fresh ground pepper, minced parsley or basil and some red pepper flakes.