White Bean & Mushroom Ragout
Beans and mushrooms are a great combo and quintessentially Italian. Experiment with different varieties and colors of beans.
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
, or sage
1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
10 ounces moonlight or cremini mushrooms
1/4 cup dry red or white wine
1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, drained
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley or chopped fresh basil salt
to taste pepper
grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
In a saucepan on medium heat, warm the oil and add the onions, garlic, herbs, and fennel. Sprinkle lightly with salt, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions are softened and starting to brown. While the onions cook, rinse and quarter the mushrooms (about 3 cups).
When the onions are soft, stir in the mushrooms and wine, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the beans, tomatoes, and parsley. Cover and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes, until hot and juicy, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve the ragout on polenta and sprinkle with cheese if you like.
You could also serve the ragout on orzo or any small pasta, or in a bowl with plenty of crusty bread. A crisp green salad is a welcome counterpoint to the soft ragout and polenta.