This meaty mushroom is the perfect alternative to the traditional veal version. Besides being a more sustainable option, portobello mushrooms are easy to cook and they work really well with this sauce. I knew it was a true win when my Dad (who has ordered the traditional version) said it tasted great and the sauce was very similar to what he’d had at Italian restaurants. So, yay!! The trademark look of the traditional dish has the bone in the center, and well, the stem of this mushroom visually works just as nicely…even better. The sauce is important, and I like to stay with the authentic ingredients of the original. Hope you enjoy this delicious take on the Lombardy, Italy specialty dish.
Heat a large saute pan on medium heat, and add the olive oil. Wash the mushrooms whole, gently, then remove the gills with a spoon. Generously sprinkle each side of each mushroom with salt and pepper, and dredge in the flour, shaking off the excess flour. When the pan is hot, add each mushroom to the pan and cover if needed to get it cooking. Once the mushrooms are starting to brown on one side after a few minutes, carefully flip them over with tongs, add a little more salt and pepper, and brown the other side. Once they’ve cooked and browned a little bit on both sides, remove them from the pan and set aside. Add the chopped garlic and cook for a minute or two, then add in the carrot and celery. Cook them all together for another few minutes, then add in the wine, broth and tomato paste. Stir together to combine. Tie the sprigs of thyme and rosemary together with some kitchen twine (this is the bouquet garni); or carefully remove each sprig later after cooking. Add the mushrooms back in the pan with the tongs. Then add in the bouquet garni. Reduce heat to simmer, and simmer another 25 minutes or so until the liquid reduces and thickens. Remove the herbs and sprinkle mushrooms with the arugula or parsley, and the lemon zest. Serve with pasta, risotto, potatoes or rice.