A vegetarian twist on the classic meat filled Bolognese recipe. Thick and hearty, even your biggest carnivore will love this sauce. This is a great way to get more veggies into your meals.
Pasta Bolognese is one of my family’s favorite meals. We love it so much, my Secret Bolognese Sauce is always readily available in the freezer. I will confess, it’s not very healthy…not at all. So we can’t eat it all the time or….you know….pants will not fit, butts will get big. You get it. I needed to create a version that was just as filling and satisfying without clogging our arteries.
One of the biggest challenges for me lately is eating more vegetables. Fruit isn’t a problem because this time of year it’s so good it’s like eating candy. But vegetables….I used to love them but recently, I’m like a 5-year old. I have to sneak them into my meals….which is not sneaky at all since I’m the one doing the sneaking. My original plan was to replace half the meat in my Bolognese with mushrooms like I do in my Turkey Meatloaf. As I was developing the recipe I got a little wild and crazy and replaced ALL the meat with mushrooms. And it was….AWESOME!
You’ll need to make sure you chop all the mushrooms pretty thoroughly to get the ground meat consistency. And sautéing all the vegetables before adding the tomatoes allows the mushrooms to absorb a ton of flavor. A little bit of red wine….garlic…oregano….oh.my.gosh.
Now you won’t fool meat lovers into thinking this is a true Bolognese but I can guarantee you they won’t miss the meat. And to make this the ultimate heatlhified italian meal, I served my Mushroom Bolognese over spiralized zucchini and yellow squash. So incredible.
Do YOU have a favorite recipe that you replaced the meat portion with mushrooms? If so, you can enter to win $5000 in the Mushroom Council’s Swap It or Top It contest!
Disclosure: By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by The Mushroom Council and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium vidalia onion diced
- 1 medium carrot diced
- 1 celery stalk diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 lb 4 oz cremini mushrooms chopped(white mushrooms will work, also)
- 5 oz shitake mushrooms chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 28 oz can tomato puree
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt plus more for additional seasoning
- 1/4 tsp pepper plus more for additional seasoning
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot. Add the onions to the olive oil and sauté until they begin to soften. Add the carrots and celery and continue to sauté another 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add mushrooms and cook until softened, approximately 5 minutes. Stir in the oregano, bay leaf, tomato paste and wine and allow the liquid to reduce by half.
- Stir in the tomatoes, sugar, salt and pepper. Bring the sauce to a boil and then turn the heat down to low. Allow the sauce to simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with your favorite pasta.
- Note: Sauce can be stored in an airtight container for up to two days in the refrigerator or up to 60 days in the freezer.
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