Mushroom Ragu

Adapted by Courtney (adapted from "eat your veggies!" cookbook)

This recipe is quite good, and nice and hearty for the colder weather coming. I often just eat it like a "stew" and don't serve it over anything like the recipe suggests, but I guess that is my own oddness! I am sure it would be good however you decide to serve it. Also, if you don't want to spring for the more costly mushrooms, normal button mushrooms work fine!

2 cups onion, diced (I use one large onion)
2 cups red pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and diced (I use one good sized red or green pepper)
2 T. garlic, minced
1 - 10z. pkg. baby bella mushrooms, washed, cut in half, and sliced
1 - 8 oz. pkg. shiitake or button mushrooms, washed, cut in half, and sliced
1 - 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup freshly chopped basil
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley

In a large saucepan, sauté the onion and red pepper for 3 minutes to soften. Add the garlic and sauté an additional 2 minutes. Add both types of mushrooms and sauté for 5 additional minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, bay leaf, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, and stir well to combine. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender. Add the basil and parsley and simmer an additional 5 minutes. Taste and add additional salt and pepper, if needed. Serve as a sauce for pasta, polenta, grains, or main dishes.

Variation: add a little red wine to the simmering sauce, if desired.

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