by yasmin le sauce
This is as meaty and satisfying as any bolognese, but it’s completely vegetarian (vegan, if you choose) and very healthy. I made it because I wanted a meat-free bolognese that was still rich and hearty. Crimini mushrooms of different textures was the trick.
- 1 medium white onion, roughly chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 celery ribs, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil, separated
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 lb crimini mushrooms, trimmed
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 dried red chili, crushed
- 1 tsp dried marjoram
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tbs tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/4 c madeira wine
- 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
- 1L (about 4 c) tomato puree
- Parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)
1In a food processor, pulse the onion, carrot and celery together into small pieces.
2Add 2 tbs of oil to a large pot and heat over medium-high heat. Transfer onion, carrot and celery mixture to the pot. Add 1/4 tsp of salt, stir and sauté for about 5 minutes.
3Meanwhile, add 1/3 of the mushrooms to the food processor and pulse coarsely. Add another 1/3 of the mushrooms to the chopped mushrooms and pulse again. Add the last 1/3 and pulse until roughly chopped. The first batch will be almost pureed and the last should be mostly large pieces.
4Transfer the mushrooms to the pot and add 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper. Stir and sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the liquid from the mushrooms evaporates.
5Add the remaining tbs of oil, the garlic, chili, marjoram and thyme, and stir. Cook for 3 minutes.
6Add the tomato paste and sugar, stir and cook for 2 more minutes.
7Add the madeira wine and red wine vinegar and stir. Cook for one minute to allow some of the alcohol in the wine to cook off.
8Add the pureed tomatoes and the remaining 1/2 tsp of salt, stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat slightly and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes.
9To serve, ladle some sauce over cooked linguine or parpadelle and mix to coat the noodles well. Serve pasta onto individual plates and add a little sauce to the top of each. Drizzle with olive oil and/or shaved parmesan, if desired.
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