December 17, 2013

Slow Cooker Mushroom Bolognese

Slow Cooker Mushroom Bolognese

To cap off my year of exploring flavor trends with Sargento I am writing about my latest favorite winter dish involving mushrooms: Slow-Cooker Mushroom Bolognese. I’ve been eating mushrooms for nearly every season and this month I wanted to try them in a heavier dish. I also wanted to make this to prove that mushrooms can indeed withstand the slow-cooker and be the basis of a hearty winter meal. I made this on a particularly blustery evening which made it even that more special. It was a great cozy meal for one of the first chilly weeks of winter.

Mushroom Bolognese

While I’ve been loving mushrooms paired with cheese I wasn’t quite sure how I’d like with tomatoes. I topped the whole dish with Parmesan, of course, but a tomato and vegetable sauce is very different than my regular marsala. I started the whole thing with a basic mirepoix with mushrooms I’d cooked slightly on the stovetop. I then added it to the slow cooker with tomatoes and seasonings and let it stew for the better part of the afternoon. Come dinner hour our sauce was ready and I was thrilled with the result. The slow stewing of the mushrooms allowed them to infuse the sauce with gorgeous earthy umami flavor. Stirred into linguine the sauce was thick and chunky. The mushrooms were a great stand-in for beef, the meal was a hearty as any meat sauce I’ve ever tasted.

It has been such a fun year exploring how mushrooms can be used in the kitchen in so many ways. As a flavor trend it is easy to see why mushrooms are out in front. Not only do they pair really well with cheese, they can be used in all kinds of dishes from soups, snacks, pizzas, and sauces. The possibilities are nearly endless!

Given all that I’ve eaten this year there is no doubt that I’ll continue to incorporate mushrooms into our dinner routine for years to come.

(Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Sargento. The recipes and photographs are wholly my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make The Naptime Chef possible.)

 

Slow Cooker Mushroom Bolognese

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large celery, peeled
  • 2 cups chopped mushrooms, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes with juices
  • 1 cup vegetable stock or water
  • Coarsely chopped fresh basil
  • Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. 1. Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, mushrooms, salt, and pepper and saute for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is softened and translucent.
  2. 2. Scrape the vegetable mixture into the slow-cooker and add the tomatoes, and vegetable stock. Turn the slow-cooker to low and cook for 3 to 4 hours. After cooking stir in the fresh basil.
  3. 3. Serve stirred into fresh pasta and topped with Parmesan cheese.
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