Plant-based ground beef steps in for the real thing in Rach's vegetarian "meat" sauce, which uses rosemary, wine + dried mushrooms for a rich flavor.
- 1 package dried porcini mushrooms, or about 1 cup
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 1 fennel, cored and finely chopped
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 rib celery with leafy tops, finely chopped
- 4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
- Salt and black pepper
- 2 tablespoons rosemary, finely chopped
- One 12-ounce package plant-based ground beef substitute
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste or sun-dried tomato paste
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 cups passata or crushed tomatoes
- 1 pound pici or bucatini pasta or wide egg pasta, pappardelle, or 500 grams
- Grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Place porcini and stock in small pot and simmer to soften mushrooms and flavor stock. Reduce to 1 ½-2 cups liquid. Remove mushrooms with slotted spoon and chop.
Meanwhile, heat a large pot of water to boil for pasta. Heat a dutch oven with EVOO over medium to medium-high heat. Add carrot, fennel, onion, celery, garlic, salt and pepper and rosemary, cook to soften, stirring frequently 10-12 minutes, add plant-based meat and crumble, cook away the color to lightly brown, 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, then add wine and let it absorb. Add passata or crushed tomatoes, porcinis and stock. Reduce heat to low and simmer. Adjust salt and pepper before serving.
Salt boiling water and cook pasta 1-2 minutes less than package directions and reserve ¾-1 cup starchy water before draining. Add pasta back to hot pot and toss with starchy water, half the sauce and about 1 cup of pecorino cheese. Serve in large bowl or shallow dinner bowls and top with remaining sauce and more cheese.