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Ziti with Porcini Bolognese Sauce makes for some hearty comfort food. The porcini mushrooms give this class Italian meat sauce an extra depth of flavor.
This Porcini Bolognese Sauce is so good! The wild mushrooms lend a great depth of flavor as they simmer along with the meat. With the mushrooms, the recipe uses less meat than the traditional Bolognese sauce. This is definitely one of my favorite new recipes, and fitting in many ways to share for this National #SundaySupper Month Kickoff today.
I’ve mentioned my Nana in past Sunday Supper posts. She made a roast beef every Sunday for dinner, always having plenty for any member of the extended family that was able to join that day. I definitely thought of her when sharing this Spoon Roast with Mushrooms and Farro recipe.
If you peruse this site for a bit and find all the Italian pasta recipes on Cooking Chat, you might correctly guess that there’s more than the Irish meat and potatoes in my family’s heritage. My other grandmother is half Italian, as her mother immigrated to the US from Italy. Her spaghetti and meatballs recipe, now picked up by my father, is still the centerpiece of many special family meals.
I have gravitated toward Bolognese style meat sauces in my own cooking. Perhaps it is the egg allergy we have in our home; getting meatballs to stay together without eggs can be tricky. But it could also be that my grandmother’s family roots in the Bologna area that make me predisposed to enjoy a long simmering meat sauce on a winter evening.
Certainly there’s a place in family food traditions for making the same things in the same way that people expect and love. But alas, I am more of a tinkerer in the kitchen. When I saw today’s Sunday Supper theme had to do with favorite recipes for bringing the family together, I thought it would be a good time to share something related to my Italian grandmother’s cooking. But I’ve got a couple recipes for Bolognese sauce on Cooking Chat already, and wanted to come up with something new. Mushrooms are popular in our family, and the Ziti with Porcini Bolognese Sauce was enjoyed very much!
A few cooking notes for the Porcini Bolognese Sauce. If you haven’t used dried porcini before, keep in mind they need to start soaking 30 minutes before you need them. And be sure to keep that soaking liquid! this recipe uses two cups of the liquid; save the rest for another time you need stock. Using the flavorful wild mushrooms allows you to mix in some lighter ground white chicken meat along with the beef; as opposed to the pork and/or veal that would typically be used. Vary the meat used to suit your taste–you can still call it Porcini Bolognese Sauce as long as you have the mushrooms in there!
This recipe makes a lot of the Porcini Bolognese Sauce! I doubled the amount I would typically make for just the three of us at home. I figured I’d right it up that way to be suitable for sharing with company, but you could certainly halve the recipe if you don’t need so much.
Wine Pairing: Pick an Italian red wine with some acidity to pair with the Ziti with Porcini Bolognese Sauce. Chianti is a natural choice. I often like to open a Barbera from Italy’s Piedmont region to go with a meat sauce. This time, we enjoyed it with a wine made from the Pelaverga grape, and it was a wonderful pairing. Italy has so many food-friendly grape varietals, it’s great to branch out and try some of the less common wines to round out a good family meal!Print
Ziti with Porcini Bolognese Sauce
Porcini mushrooms add a great depth of flavor to this classic Italian meat sauce recipe.
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 80 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 50 mins
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
- Category: Main
- Cuisine: Italian
- 2 ozs dried porcini
- 3 cups water
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 carrot, diced
- 7 cloves garlic, minced
- ¾ cup red wine
- 28 ozs diced tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 cups porcini liquid
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 ½ tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 ½ tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 3/4 lbs ground beef
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1 1/2 lbs ziti
- parmesan cheese for serving
- Heat the water in a pan. When it starts to boil, remove from stove and pour over the dried porcini in a bowl that can withstand the hot water. Let the porcini soak in the water for at least 30 minutes.
- Place a sieve over a bowl and line it with a wet paper towel. Pour the mushrooms into the sieve. Reserve the porcini soaking water. Rinse the mushrooms, then coarsely chop and set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pot on medium heat. Add the onions, and sauté for a few minutes until they begin to soften. Add the carrots, and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, cook for another minute. Add another tablespoon olive oil, and gradually add the beef and ground chicken, stirring occasionally. Cook for about 10 minutes to brown the meat. Add the porcini mushrooms, and stir to combine.
- Stir in the cooking wine, and cook for about 5 minutes until the wine has been mostly absorbed into the meat. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 cups reserved porcini liquid, and chicken broth. Add the thyme, rosemary, basil and oregano.
- Simmer the sauce, uncovered, for at least 1 hour. If you have time to let is simmer longer, that further enhances the flavors.
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions toward the end of the simmering time for the sauce. Drain the pasta, and toss with enough sauce to thoroughly coat the ziti. Keep the extra sauce warm on low heat.
- Plate the pasta and top with a bit of additional sauce, if desired. Pass the cheese at the table, and enjoy with a good Italian red wine.