There’s nothing more comforting than a slow-cooked Bolognese sauce with sweet potato spaghetti! It’s gluten free, paleo, and much more colorful and nutritious than regular spaghetti and meatballs.
I love to read. It’s actually somewhat of a problem.
Whenever I read fiction or a memoir, one of two things happens. I either put the book down because I can’t get into it, or I’m so into it that I can’t think about anything else, and end up reading the whole thing within a day or two. The latter happens much more frequently than the former, and everything else I’m supposed to be doing falls by the wayside. I fall into reading rabbit holes so easily that I usually don’t allow myself to read anything other than my school textbooks during the semester itself. (Of course, I’m very interested in speech and language pathology, but books with titles like Understanding Voice Problems and Preclinical Speech Science never really end up being page-turners. Instead of keeping me up all night like a suspenseful novel, they’re uniquely capable of sending me into a sudden nap if I read them anytime after the sun sets.)
You may have guessed that my answer is a resounding yes. This recipe is proof: wine is not necessary for making delicious braised chicken. In fact, I liked this dish even more than the coq au riesling I’ve been making, and to me, the chicken and sauce still had all the flavor benefits of dishes made with copious amounts of wine. I’m eager to see if you agree, so if you try this recipe, please let me know what you think!
Want to know why this recipe is so good, even though there’s no wine in it? My theory is that it’s because of the following three reasons. First, this recipe uses Pure Indian Foods’ organic, grassfed ghee. Ghee is by far my favorite cooking fat, because it has all the delicious flavor of butter paired with the higher smoke point of oil. In fact, I think ghee tastes even better than butter, and it’s also a much healthier choice than canola or vegetable oil. If you haven’t heard me talk about the wonders of ghee, you can read more about what it is and how it’s made here.
In my last post, I shared a recipe for gambas al ajillo inspired by my meal at Solea. The other thing I was dying to try at home was Solea’s chickpea spread, which they bring at the beginning of the meal with a basket of crusty bread. It’s really delicious! I could tell it had chickpeas in it (plus, it was adorably garnished with one whole chickpea), but I couldn’t tell what made it so much richer, and so different from, hummus.
Luckily, our waiter didn’t mind telling us the other key ingredient–porcini mushrooms! I had never cooked with them before, and they smelled really funky before they were reconstituted. But, it was worth it. I was rewarded with this hearty dip, which I think is just as good as what I had at Solea.
Ingredients (makes about 1 1/2 cups):
1 15 ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Juice of half a lemon, or to taste
Salt to taste
1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, plus more for serving
1/4 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
Paprika for serving, optional
Place the porcini mushrooms in a small bowl, and pour in very hot water to cover. Let sit for 30 minutes. Drain, reserving the soaking water, rinse, and pat dry.
Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat, and saute the mushrooms for about five minutes.
In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, lemon juice, salt, and mushrooms. Turn the processor on and add the half cup of olive oil in a steady stream (you can use less oil and more mushroom water if you’d like). If the spread seems too dry, add the mushroom soaking water a tablespoon at a time and process until smooth.
Taste for seasonings and adjust if needed. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika, if desired. Serve with crusty bread or vegetables for dipping.
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