Flavor alert! If you're eating less meat, this Mushroom Bolognese is vegetarian, flavorful and complex. The additions of soy sauce and tomato paste provide the umami characteristic. Red wine gives it richness and depth. A dash of cream at the end makes it silky and decadent. For pasta, we recommend Bucatini because it's thicker than spaghetti and has a tiny hole that runs all the way through the middle; this little hole means more of the delicious sauce is absorbed into the pasta. Make sure you cook your pasta al dente and try pairing it with a tomato loving red wine, such as our 2018 Helix Sangiovese from Stillwater Creek Vineyard. Note: Although the recipe calls for cremini mushrooms, it can also be made using white mushrooms and skipping the dried porcini if unavailable.
2 lbs. crimini mushrooms, trimmed & quartered
1 carrot, peeled & chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed & minced (optional)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
salt & pepper
1 lb. pasta (recommend a thicker, long noodle, such as bucatini)
grated Parmesan cheese
Working in batches, pulse crimini mushrooms in food processor until pieces are no larger than 1/2 inch, 5-7 pulses. Transfer to large bowl.
Pulse carrot and onion in the food processor until finely chopped, 5-7 pulses. Transfer to the bowl with mushrooms.
Pulse tomatoes and their juice in the now empty food processor until finely chopped, 6-8 pulses. Set aside separately.
Melt butter in dutch oven over medium heat. Add crimini mushrooms (and porcini if you're using them), carrot-onion mixture, cover and cook, stirring occasionally until mushrooms release their liquid, about 5 minutes.
Uncover, increase heat to medium-high heat and cook until liquid has evaporated and vegetables begin to brown , 12-15 minutes)
Stir in garlic and sugar, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Stir in wine and simmer until nearly evaporated, about 5 minutes.
Stir in broth, soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and tomatoes, and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until sauce in thickened but still moist, 8-10 minutes. Off heat, stir in cream.
While sauce simmers, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon of salt and cook, stirring often until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, drain pasta and return to pot. Add sauce and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and adjust consistency with reserved cooking water as needed. Serve with grated Parmesan.
Serves 8 Adapted from Sunday Suppers, America’s Test Kitchen