Rich mushroom sauce
Makes 4 servings
Just about any combination of wild mushrooms (such as chanterelle, morel and oyster) can be used to create this wonderful meaty-yet-meatless sauce (shown with baked polenta). You can buy cooked polenta in a roll (like frozen cookie dough) that only requires a quick slicing before baking or pan-frying.
3 tbsp. (45 mL) olive oil
1 lb. (450 g) assorted wild mushrooms, wiped clean, trimmed if necessary, roughly chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 large onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp. (30 mL) tomato paste
1 cup (250 mL) dry red wine
1⁄2 tsp. (2 mL) salt
1⁄2 tsp. (2 mL) freshly ground black pepper
1 28-oz. (795-mL) can chopped plum tomatoes, with juice
2 cups (500 mL) chicken stock
1 tsp. (5 mL) fresh thyme leaves
In a large skillet, warm oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, garlic, onion, carrot, celery and bay leaf; cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
Blend tomato paste with wine and add to mushroom mixture. Stir in salt and pepper, mixing well. Add tomatoes (with juice) and chicken stock. Bring to a boil; lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes.
Add thyme; cook for an additional few minutes, then taste for seasoning.