Mushrooms are such a wonderful food and there are so many different varieties. You can eat them raw in salads or sandwiches.
You can marinate them. You can mince them along with shallots, parsley, garlic and seasoning, then sauté them with a little white wine to make duxelle. You can sauté them and put them on top of steak. You can fry them. The list is almost endless. This is what we had for dinner last night.
Baby Lady always makes a beautiful red sauce. I make my red sauce from scratch using fresh tomatoes but it is exceptionally time consuming. This is Baby Lady’s red sauce with my variations. It went beautifully with the Portobello Mushroom. If you have your own favorite red sauce, use it and proceed to section about preparing the dish and plating.
For the Red Sauce (makes roughly 2 qts)
- 2 slices bacon, medium chop (I used some really nice serrano jamon, minced and bacon fat)
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
- 6 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 1 large white onion, small dice (roughly 2 cups)
- 1 bell pepper (either green, red, yellow, orange or combination), medium dice (roughly 1 cup)
- 2 cups celery, medium dice
- 3 anchovy filets
- 2 Tbsp fresh oregano
- 2 tsp fresh thyme
- 1 qt chicken stock
- 1/2 bottle dry red wine
- 1 Tbsp sea salt
- 2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
For the Portobello Mushroom
- 3 Large Portobello Mushrooms
- 1 cup dry mozzarella cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Add bacon to pot, sauté until crisp. Add onion and sweat, roughly 4 minutes. Next add celery and continue to cook.
Clear an open area on the bottom of the pan and now add the bell peppers.
Continue to saute veggies another 2 – 3 minutes. Now add the anchovy filets and the garlic. The anchovy adds saltiness and another layer of flavor to the sauce.
Stir veggies. Notice how the anchovies disintegrate.
Now add the tomatoes, both crushed and diced, along with the oregano, thyme, salt and crushed red pepper.
Stir and allow to cook for roughly 30 minutes or until reduced by one third. Stir occasionally to keep it from sticking to the bottom.
Once the mixture has reduced by roughly one third, add the chicken stock and 1/2 bottle dry red wine. Use a wine worthy of drinking, i.e. a good table wine, not an exquisite wine but a good wine.
The wine changes the color and adds a tremendous depth of flavor and character to the sauce.
Let the sauce simmer on low heat for a couple of hours or until it reaches the desired thickness.
In the meantime, preheat an oven to 350 F. Blend the mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Now, stem 3 portobello mushrooms and remove all spores. On dishes like this I don’t like the spores because they have a spongey texture and turn everything black when the mushrooms release their liquid. Removing the spores provides a cleaner, meatier texture. Ladle a couple of scoops of sauce in the bottom of a baking dish to cover the bottom roughly 1/4 inch thick. Place the portobello mushrooms bottom side down on top of the sauce.
Ladle some sauce into the portobello mushroom caps, just enough to fill 1/2 of the cap. Then add the grated mozzarella parmesan cheese blend filling caps to the top.
Put in the oven and bake for 30 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked through and the cheese has all melted and begins to brown on top. Remove from oven, put mushrooms on a plate, add a spoon of the sauce from the baking dish and sprinkle with chopped fresh basil. Serve with a fresh garden salad. Enjoy.