My dear friend and fellow foodie/home cook and vegetarian extraordinaire Paul came over to hang out with us for a while tonight and in honor, I made a simple, tasty dinner of a mushroom and leek ragout. Mostly because I had most of the stuff for pasta and needed to fill my quota of 2 or 3 pasta dishes a week.
Like…well, every dish I make, this is a fairly flexible recipe. And by “recipe,” I mean “guideline.” And by “guideline,” I mean, “loosely affiliated series of ingredients, directions and methods.”
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large leek, chopped and washed
3 qts of various mushrooms (I used one quart cremini, one quart button and one quart shiitake)
1/2 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried fennel
28-30oz crushed tomatoes or canned tomato sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1oz creamy goat cheese
1 box rigatoni, cooked according to package directions
Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a good sized skillet over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add in the garlic, sautéing for a couple minutes, then add in the leek and oregano and sauté for a few minutes until soft. Add in mushrooms and a bit of water, stirring thoroughly and letting sit until the mushrooms cook down a bit. Add in cayenne, cumin and fennel, stir, and let mushrooms cook down for 4-5 more minutes.
Add in tomato sauce and brown sugar. Cook about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. At the end of the cooking time, fold in the goat cheese and incorporate well. Add in rigatoni, mix and serve with a good breadstick or crusty loaf.
It’s a creamy, spicy and filling dish…you won’t even miss the meat, really. Seriously. Don’t look at me like that. Try it.