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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