Braised mushrooms create a rustic sauce for hearty ricotta gnocchi. This earthy plate is rich, comforting and best served with a glass of bold wine.
What makes this dish truly special is the combination of mushrooms prepared in different manners. The minced bits will melt down creating a thick base while the sliced mushrooms (especially the dried ones!) add a meaty texture.
- 1lb button mushrooms
- 1lb crimini mushrooms
- 1lb assorted fresh mushrooms (chanterelle, morel, coral, shitake, maitake….)
- 1c assorted dried mushrooms
- 2c boiling water
- 1/4c minced onion
- 2T minced garlic
- 4-6 sprigs fresh lemon thyme (or 1ts dried + 1/8ts lemon zest)
- 1/4c balsamic vinegar
- 1/2c dry vermouth or white wine
- 2Tb corn starch
Begin by soaking dried mushrooms in 2c boiling water. Allow the mushrooms to rest and rehydrate until the water has cooled. Drain mushrooms and reserve the liquid. Slice reconstituted mushrooms and set aside in a large bowl.
Prepare the fresh mushrooms by trimming any small stems flush with the cap and removing large stems all together. Finely dice the stems and reserve. Set aside 1lb of small mushroom caps for browning. Thinly slice the remaining mushrooms.
Heat 2Tb olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Place small mushrooms cap side down in the pan. Flipping once, allow these to gently brown. When the caps have reduced in size by almost half, remove them to the waiting bowl.
Next, brown the sliced mushrooms. Do this by working in small batches. Arrange a single layer of mushrooms in the pan and allow to brown. Stir the mushrooms once adding a pinch of salt. Cook until tender and reserve to the mushroom bowl. Repeat until all of the sliced mushrooms are cooked.
Add 2 more tablespoons of olive oil to the empty pan. Add the minced garlic, chopped onion, and diced mushroom stems to the pan. Cook until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms are soft. Add the reserved mushrooms back to the pan with the thyme, oregano, salt & pepper and allow cooking for 3 more minutes. Sprinkle corn starch over the mix and stir together. Pour in the vermouth & balsamic. Stir together. Add reserved mushroom liquid. Bring to a simmer, drop the heat to med- low and allow to cook for 5 minutes.
To serve with no fuss simply spoon heaping portions over gnocchi.
To gussie it up, Sauté the gnocchi briefly in a bit of butter until they begin to form a golden crust. Add mushrooms with sauce to the gnocchi pan and toss to coat. Garnish with chopped parsley or parmesan cheese.