Mushroom Stew & Spaghetti Squash

Mushroom Stew

My husband took a look at the final product on Sunday and sounded surprised when he said, “It looks like a real stew!” I didn’t take offence because I knew what he meant. Vegetable stews tend to be lighter in colour, but this one looks dark, chunky, and dare I say meaty?

I give full credit for this recipe to the over-sized spaghetti squash I purchased at the grocery store last week. I love spaghetti squash, so am always looking for new and interesting ways to jazz it up. I also happen to detest the go-to combination of spaghetti squash and tomato sauce.

I thought it would be nice to top the spaghetti squash with a hearty, mushroom stew. The delicate, sweet taste of the spaghetti squash is offset by the earthy, creamy mushrooms that in this case act more like a ragout or sauce than a stew. With every bite you’ll dive deeper into the rich accents of the red wine, sherry, and mushroom broth. The chunks of seitan pack a protein punch and add a chewy texture that is substantially gratifying. It’s not meant to be a mushroom chestnut stew, but sparingly used, the roasted chestnuts provide a scrunchy bite. The whole thing is draped literally in mounds of leeks and tonnes of garlic. Delicious to say the least. A feast no doubt, especially when the stew and squash are thoroughly mixed into one big conglomeration.

The stew would work equally well over some spelt pappardelle, roasted potato wedges, polenta, or even served over a rustic chunk of bread. Delicious and satisfying!!

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Squash, spaghetti 1
Salt
Black pepper
Olive oil
Mushrooms, dried, chanterelles 1/2 oz
Water 2 cups
Olive oil 6 tbsp
Mushrooms, assorted 1.5 lbs
Leeks, large, sliced thinly 2
Garlic, cloves, crushed 6
Rosemary, fresh, chopped 1.5 tbsp
Flour 1 tbsp
Sherry 1/3 cup
Wine, red 1/2 cup
Broth, mushroom (reserved from soaked dry chanterelles) 2 cups (approximately)
Salt
Black pepper
Seitan, cut into chunks 7 oz
Chestnuts, roasted, whole 10
Parsley, fresh, chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut spaghetti squash in half. Remove seeds. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Place squash halves on lined tray and bake for approximately 45 minutes (until the squash is tender).
  3. Remove squash from oven. Allow to cool enough so that you can handle the squash. Using a fork, scrape squash length-wise to remove the spaghetti squash from its casing.
  4. Transfer to a bowl. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil, and season with salt and black pepper.
  5. Meanwhile, bring two cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove saucepan from heat. Add dried mushrooms and soak for approximately 20 minutes. Using a slotted spatula remove and rinse mushrooms. Strain mushroom broth using a sieve. Reserve mushroom broth for later use.
  6. Trim and rinse the mushrooms. Half larger mushrooms. Regular sized mushrooms can be left whole.
  7. In a medium pot, heat olive oil.
  8. Add mushrooms and saute until they release their moisture.
  9. Once most of the moisture has evaporated, add leeks and sauté until both the mushrooms and leeks begin to caramelize.
  10. Add garlic and rosemary and cook for 2 minutes.
  11. Sprinkle flour over mushroom mixture and cook for 2 more minutes.
  12. Deglaze the pot with the sherry.
  13. When the sherry has evaporated, add the red wine and mushroom broth.
  14. Bring to a simmer and cook until the stew begins to thicken approximately 7-10 minutes.
  15. Add seitan and season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  16. After 5-10 minutes (after the seitan is heated through and takes on the flavours of the mushrooms), remove pot from heat.
  17. Stir in parsley and roasted chestnuts.
  18. Serve over spaghetti squash.

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