Italian Porcini Gravy

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Italian Porcini Gravy
Serves 6
Many of today’s recipes call for wild mushrooms that are not always seasonal or easy to come by. In recent years, a number of new dehydrating techniques have been developed and now dried mushrooms are recognized by many top chefs for their excellent quality, consistent size, and superior taste. If there is a universally popular wild mushroom, it may be Boletus edulis. The French refer to them affectionately as cépes, the Germans glorify them as Steinpilz, and the Italians are wild about their Porcini, meaning piglets. As a rule, 3 ounces of dried Porcini will equal 1 pound of rehydrated mushrooms. Chefs differ in their opinions as to how long to soak them. On the average they are soaked for about 15 minutes in warm water to cover. The strong flavor of dried Porcini Mushrooms makes an outstanding gravy. Serve over ravioli, pasta, polenta, or use for a chicken cacciatore. Sprinkle freshly grated Romano cheese on top.
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  1. 3 oz. Dried Porcini Mushrooms
  2. 1 lb. Ground Beef, lean
  3. 1/2 lb. Nino's Mild Italian Sausage, bulk
  4. 1 large Sweet or Vidalia Onion, chopped
  5. 2 medium Garlic Cloves, minced
  6. 1/4 cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
  7. 1 tsp. Fresh Oregano
  8. 1 tsp. Fresh Basil
  9. 1 can Tomato Paste (6 oz.)
  10. 1 cup Dry White Wine
  11. 2 cups Salvaggio's Marinara Sauce
  1. Soak the mushrooms in warm water to cover for about 15 minutes, squeeze dry and finely mince them. Reserve the liquid.
  2. In a large, heavy saucepan, sauté the beef and sausage meat until lightly browned.
  3. Add the onion, garlic, parsley, mushrooms and herbs.
  4. Mix the tomato paste with the wine. Add to the gravy along with the tomato sauce and the soaking liquid from the mushrooms.
  5. Simmer until thick, about 30 to 45 minutes.
  1. Makes approximately 5 cups.
Nino Salvaggio