My vegan mushroom bolognese is a fun spin on the Italian classic. Mushrooms are used for a rich and delicious vegan bolognese that is sure to please the whole family!
I’ve partnered with the TODAY Food Club to bring you this Mushroom Vegan Bolognese recipe as part of their Family Favourites Challenge. This fabulous challenge takes a look at food and recipes, and how they have been passed down through the generations.
Rosa was a lovely Italian lady that lived next door, with her husband, to my grandparents. They had the most amazing vegetable garden which was always overflowing with fabulous fresh vegetables. When my brother and I visited my grandparents, if we were good, we were allowed to go next door to visit Rosa, feed her chickens, and help pick various vegetables for that night’s dinner.
Rosa’s garden produced so many vegetables that my Grandmother was the lucky recipient of any surplus vegetables, some of them unfamiliar to my Scottish grandmother. So, over the years, Rosa started to teach my Grandmother some of her favourite family recipes, partly to show my grandmother how to use those vegetables. And this was how my Grandmother started making spaghetti bolognese (known to the Italians as ragu).
Over the years, each generation of my family has put their spin on this classic recipe. My Grandmother had her version, ever so slightly tweaked from Rosa’s, to suit my Grandfather’s palate. Mum had hers and now, I have my vegan spaghetti bolognese.
My mushroom vegetarian bolognese recipe is the biggest deviation from the classic, but, in many ways, I think it stays true to this ultimate comfort food.
Replacing the ground meat, traditionally found in spaghetti bolognese are juicy, umami-laden mushrooms. I use mushrooms as a faithful meat replacement in so many recipes (my Mushroom Shepherd’s Pies, Mushroom and Quinoa Meatballs, and my Mushroom Banh Mi are great examples) and they work just as well here, helping the vegetarian bolognese sauce to develop many of the rich, complex flavours of the original that the spaghetti absorbs.
So tell me, in the comments below, what is your family favourite recipe?
30 minPrep Time
45 minCook Time
1 hr, 15 Total Time
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 medium sized carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 tbs thyme leaves, roughly chopped
- 10g (1/3 oz) dried wild mushrooms, reconstituted in 21/2 tbs boiling water
- 500g (1 pound) mushrooms, diced
- 1 tbs tomato paste
- 1 cup red wine (shiraz and pinot noir work well here)
- 2 tbs soy sauce
- 400g (14oz) can of chopped Italian tomatoes
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 400g (14 oz) dried spaghetti
- Place a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion, carrots and celery, season with salt and cook until slightly golden and caramelised.
- Next, add the mushrooms. I like to do this in 4 batches, so they all get a chance to cook properly. Once each batch is cooked add more, until all of the mushrooms are cooked. Add the garlic and thyme, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the garlic is cooked.
- Now remove the wild mushrooms from the boiling water, reserving the soaking water, and roughly chop the wild mushrooms. Add to the wild mushrooms along with the tomato paste to the pan and increase the heat to medium-high. Add the red wine, mushroom soaking liquid and soy sauce. Cook until the wine has almost evaporated before adding the tinned tomatoes and season with salt.
- Move the frying pan to your smallest burner, cover and reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour (depending on your patience although the longer it cooks the better the flavour, check and stir occasionally to make sure it isn't catching), or until the sauce is thick and rich. Check and adjust the seasonings as necessary and remove from the heat.
- Just before the sauce is ready, bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Season generously with salt, and add the spaghetti and cook according to the packet directions. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water and return to the saucepan and top with the mushroom bolognese and cooking water. Toss to combine and divide between 4 bowls to serve. Top with grated parmesan or nutritional yeast if you are vegan.