This easy vegetarian mushroom ragu has plenty of meaty main-dish heft. It's also an incredibly versatile little number. Toss it with pasta, serve it over polenta, or spoon it onto crostini smeared with goat cheese. The optional mascarpone lends extra richness to this mushroom ragu, but skip it to make it a vegan dish.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced shallot
5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1-1/2 pounds wild mushrooms (or cremini), cut into thick slices
2 teaspoons minced thyme
¼ cup dry marsala
2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese (optional)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat and add shallot. Cook for 5 minutes, until shallot is a deep golden brown. Add garlic and cook another 2 minutes, until softened. Add mushrooms and thyme to pan, and saute for 8-10 minutes, until mushrooms are golden brown.
Pour in marsala and scrape up any bits stuck to the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until most of the liquid is evaporated. Swirl in mascarpone, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with parsley.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 17 minutes