Or, do as we did and use it for manicotti stuffed with cheese & shiitake mushrooms.
Mushroom Ragu with Morels (with manicotti option)
2 cups water
1 oz dried shiitake mushrooms
2 T olive oil
1 1/2 cups onion (Vidalia or sweet onion, if available), chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
8 oz fresh morels, cleaned and sliced
1 T fresh rosemary, chopped
28 oz crushed tomatoes
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Heat water almost to a boil. Pour over dried shiitakes and allow to sit for at least 40 minutes to reconstitute. In the meantime, clean and chop cremini and morel mushrooms.
When the shiitakes are softened, remove shiitakes and chop finely. Strain remaining mushroom "stock" through cheesecloth or a coffee filter and reserve.
Saute the onion in olive oil until just turning transluscent. Add garlic and saute one minute before adding the mushrooms. Add cremini, morels, and 1 T chopped rosemary. Add shiitakes if you are not using them for the manicotti filling (recipe below). Saute until mushrooms have released their liquid and are softened. Add 1 cup reserved mushroom stock to the mushroom mixture and allow to reduce by half. Add tomatoes, and allow sauce to cook for an additional 15-20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Season as desired with salt & freshly ground pepper. Add additional mushroom liquid, as desired.
Optional Manicotti filling:
16 oz ricotta cheese
1/2 cup each of Asiago, Romano, and Parmesan cheeses, grated
1 oz. reconstituted shiitake mushrooms, chopped finely
Mix together cheeses and mushrooms. Use to fill manicotti or pasta shells. Or layer between pasta sheets in lasagne.
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