Sometimes I don't want something heavy, but I want something that's as comforting as a properly made bolognese. I also try to stay away from too much meat, especially beef. This is where my mushroom bolognese comes in! Minced mushrooms won't win any beauty contests but they're a great substitute for minced been in pasta sauces like this, or I've had it in chilli sin carne and it's lovely. Mushrooms are also much cheaper than beef so this is a good recipe if you're reducing costs!
My version is vegan but there's nothing to stop you adding cheese at the end, or even lardons in the onion mix at the start if you're feeling more indulgent!
- mushrooms, finely minced
- onions, finely diced
- carrots, finely diced
- celery, finely diced
- vegetable oil
- tinned tomatoes
- pasta of choice
- salt, pepper and herbs
1. Fry the mushrooms in vegetable oil to add some colour and remove all the moisture. It doesn't look like much at this stage, but stick with it! Remove the paste to a dish.
2. In the same pan, saute the onions, carrots and mushrooms with some vegetable oil. Cook these on a low heat for around 10 minutes. You want them very soft and just starting to colour. Then add the mushroom mix back in.
3. Add two tins of tomatoes, along with salt, pepper and dried herbs. I tend to use oregano but basil would also work. If you're using fresh herbs, save this until the end so you don't lose the delicate flavour!
4. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook it without a lid on to let the liquid reduce and flavours intensify. Depending on the size of your pan, this should take around 30 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, cook your pasta of choice. I used fusilli to make it easier to box up in portions for a family member.
6. About a minute before the pasta is done, remove a mug of the boiling water and drain. Tip the pasta into the thick pasta sauce.
7. Finish off the pasta in the sauce for the last minute or two, adding some of the starchy water if necessary. This helps the sauce stick to the pasta. Serve, with some grated cheese if you wish!