Funghi alla Bolognese (Mushroom Bolognese)

white bowl of mushroom bolognese over pasta with basil leaves

I love making sauce – in fact, I have a great recipe for Sunday Sauce which is delicious and super flexible as most of recipes tend to be. But it’s not vegetarian and I’ve become a fan of trying to develop recipes without the flesh. So, a Bolognese with mushrooms seemed to be a natural. Mushrooms have such a meaty or umami quality that it seemed totally reasonable that they’d make a delicious, hearty sauce. And was I right! This is delicious and your meat-loving friends won’t believe it’s vegetarian. Have some fun mixing up your mushroom combinations – the more exotic, the deeper the flavor.

Serves: Four to Six (with plenty of leftover sauce to freeze)

Time: 1 hour

 4 tbs olive oil
16 oz cremini mushrooms, processed
16 oz button mushrooms, processed
3 carrots, peeled and processed
3 stalks celery, chopped and processed
1 onion, chopped and processed
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tbs tomato paste
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup red wine (Cabernet)
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1 tsp Tajin
28 oz can San Marzano whole tomatoes, processed
1 can Mutti cherry tomatoes, processed
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 lb. Tagliatelle or your favorite thick long pasta
Basil leaves and parmesan for garnish



Using a food processor, pulverize the mushrooms; set aside.  Do the same with the carrots, celery and onion and set aside.  Finally, blitz the whole tomatoes and cherry tomatoes and set aside in a separate bowl.*

Heat a large heavy bottomed pot (Dutch oven) over medium-high.  Add olive oil.  When oil is just shimmering, add the mushrooms, vegetables, and garlic.  Cook for about 5 minutes.  Add tomato paste and red pepper flakes.  Cook until the paste turns a deep rust color.  Add the wine, salt and pepper and Tajin.

Next, add the tomatoes and balsamic vinegar.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.  Cook for 45 minutes (or longer on very low heat – it will make your house smell delicious!) until the sauce is reduced and thickened.  Toward the end of the cook time, prepare your pasta according to the package directions.

Serve by mounding a generous ladle full of Bolognese over the pasta and garnish with basil and parmesan cheese.  A veggie lover’s dream!

*Note:  If you don’t own a food processor – well you should, it’s a kitchen essential…but if you don’t, be sure to finely chop all of your veggies and mash your tomatoes, keeping their juices.

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A great day for me is preparing great meals for friends and family. I enjoy experimenting with new ingredients and also updating classics that I've enjoyed for years. I love to travel and try lots of new cuisines - and wouldn't be anything without the love of my family!

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