Hubby in the kitchen, but I picked the menu!

If you have read the previous post you know that I told hubby it was time for him to do some cooking this past weekend.  I know how much he enjoys cooking, so as he was perusing the big cooking binder,looking for ideas, I was able to steer him towards one of my favorites.  Yes, it’s Giada recipe and is really good.

A couple of years ago hubby saw Giada make this on her show Everyday Italianand  he made for Mother’s Day. As we were putung together our grocery list we knew that it had some special ingredients that would require a trip to the grocery store because they are definitely not pantry items.  So on our big grocery shopping extravaganza to the 3 grocery stores in our area we we able to locate all but the dried porcini mushrooms.  I scoured the grocery store looking in produce, Nature’s market, the ethnic aisle and the pasta aisle.  I even tried the canned vegetable aisle in search of dried mushrooms.  We tried a little Meditterain market near us with no luck, but struck gold at a small Italian market and deli.  Theonedowside to this is that it cost us about $11 dollars for these mushrooms, but they are worth it.  I believe that it isthe mushrooms that give this dish it’s flavor.

Rigatoni with Vegetable Bolognese


1-ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 1/2 cups hot water
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 ounces assorted mushrooms (like shiitake, cremini, and brown), stemmed and chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1 pound rigatoni pasta
1/4 cup Parmesan

Place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with 1 1/2 cups very hot water. Set aside and let the mushrooms soften.

Place the carrots, onion, bell pepper, and garlic in a food processor. Pulse the vegetables until finely chopped but still chunky. Place the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped vegetables, thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper and cook until tender, about 6 minutes. Strain the porcini mushrooms, reserving the porcini mushroom liquid. Add the porcini mushrooms, fresh mushrooms, and tomato paste and continue cooking, stirring to dissolve the tomato paste, until the mushrooms are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the porcini mushroom liquid and red wine. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and let the mixture simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add mascarpone cheese and stir just until the cheese is incorporated.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid and add to the vegetable mixture. Add some of the reserved pasta cooking liquid, if necessary, to moisten the sauce. Toss with Parmesan and serve.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/rigatoni-with-vegetable-bolognese-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

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