Monday, February 6, 2017

Slow Cooker Mushroom Bolognese

America's Test Kitchen slow cooker cookbooks never let me down. I have three of them and lately have been trying to cook more from ATK's Healthy Slow Cooker Revolution. This Bolognese sauce is so savory and yummy and the texture is much like the meaty Bolognese found in ATK's original Slow Cooker Revolution.

My version below is pretty true to ATK. Why mess with a good thing? I did use more carrot — two instead of one. I used a pound of button mushrooms I had on hand, rather than all cremini as called for. I also left out the dried porcini mushrooms as they are pricey as heck.

My husband and I really liked this sauce, and that's something, because I didn't like mushrooms until well into my 20s and Jeff still doesn't really like them. The kids liked their dinner until they heard about the mushrooms. I need to keep my mouth shut sometimes.


PS: My house smelled amazing all day with this simmering away.

Slow Cooker Mushroom Bolognese
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen Healthy Slow Cooker Revolution

2 pounds cremini mushrooms (or whatever mushrooms you have on hand; I used 1 pound cremini and 1 pound button) — washed, trimmed and quartered
1 onion, chopped coarse
2 carrots, peeled and chopped coarse
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste — if desired)
1/2 teaspoon pepper (plus more to taste — if desired)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 pound linguine (regular or whole wheat)
Grated Parmesan cheese

Working in batches, pulse mushroom in food processor until pieces are no larger than half an inch — about 5 to 7 pulses — and transfer to a large bowl. Pulse onion and carrot until finely chopped — about 5 to 7 pulses — and transfer to the bowl with the mushrooms. Pulse tomatoes in their juice until almost smooth — 6 to 8 pulses — and set aside separately.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add processed vegetables and cover, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook until vegetables are dry and browned, about 12 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, garlic and oregano and cook for 1 minutes. Stir in wine, scraping up browned bits from skillet, and simmer until nearly evaporated, about 3 minutes. Transfer vegetable-wine mixture to slow cooker.

Stir processed tomatoes into slow cooker. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, sugar and bay leaf. Cover and cook for 7 to 8 hours on low or 4 to 5 hours on high.

Discard bay leaf. Stir in parsley, cream and lemon juice. Let sauce sit on "warm."

Cook linguine according to package directions.

Plate pasta and top with Bolognese sauce. Top with grated cheese, if you like.

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