Sunday, November 28, 2010

Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Bolognese Sauce

Continuing in the theme of heartier vegetarian fare, I made a vegetarian Bolognese sauce that very “meaty” in texture and flavor. I wish I could take credit for creating all of my recipes from scratch but I must admit that Cooking Light’s website and magazines have provided me with many great ideas.

So what made this sauce different than your typical veggie pasta sauces? Mushrooms! And I am not a big mushroom fan but a combinations of chopped fresh mushrooms and crumbled dried mushrooms created a ground beef like texture when added to the sauce.

The ingredient list was pretty basic. I was able to find everything at my local Publix:


1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms (about 1/4 ounce)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion

1/2 cup finely chopped carrot

1/2 cup finely chopped celery

1 (8-ounce) package cremini mushrooms, finely chopped

1/2 cup dry red wine

1/4 cup warm water

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 (28-ounce) can organic crushed tomatoes with basil, undrained

1 (2-inch) piece Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind

12 ounces uncooked whole-wheat penne (tube-shaped pasta)

1/2 cup (2 ounces) shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

I used my Magic Bullet to process the dried mushrooms until finely ground. The recipe says you can also use a coffee or spice grinder.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, and mushrooms; sauté 10 minutes. Add wine; simmer 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Add 1/4 cup warm water and next 4 ingredients (through cheese rind) to onion mixture. Stir in ground porcini. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 40 minutes. Keep warm. Remove rind; discard.

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Place 1 cup of pasta in each of 6 bowls. Top each portion with 3/4 cup sauce and about 1 tablespoon cheese.

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