Thursday, August 25, 2011

Recipe Swap: Mushroom Bolognese

I've said it once and I'll say it again.  I LOVE Italian food.  So, this week's Recipe Swap theme was a dream come true.  When I got my recipe from Heather at Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks I was pumped.  I can never get enough great Italian sauce recipes.

My husband to me: "What's for dinner tonight?"
Me: "Pasta."
My husband: "Oh.  Does it have meat in it?" [A fair question since I have been veggie heavy due to trying to use all our CSA veggies]
Me: "Yes."

I wasn't lying.  There IS some ground turkey in this dish.  But you know how they say that mushrooms are meaty?  That's exactly what this recipe is really all about.  It tastes a lot like your traditional bolognese sauce but uses meaty mushroom pieces in place of most of the ground meat yielding a healthier version of this Italian favorite.  Even my mushroom-hating husband thought he was eating meat and loved this dish.  He went so far as to tell me a good two or three times how much he liked this dish.  I didn't have the heart to tell him that it was mostly mushrooms.  Genius I tell you, genius!

Of course, you can make this recipe completely vegetarian by omitting the ground meat altogether or using those vegetarian beef crumbles.  As always, I added a few shakes of cracked red pepper for a good kick.  This will go in my recipe keepers for sure!  By the way, if you're looking for a more traditional meat bolognese, check out this recipe :).

For this swap, I submitted my favorite simple sauce, Marinara Magnifica which was received by Caitlin's Cooking and More.  It's a simple, great sauce to use on pretty much anything and I love how Caitlin adapted it for the crockpot.  See the rest of the Italian swap roundup at A Taste of Home Cooking.
Mushroom Bolognese

  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 c. chopped onion
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. black pepper
  • 1/2 lb. lean ground beef (optional; I used ground turkey)
  • 5 c. finely chopped mushrooms (I used baby bella but feel free to use a combo of whatever)
  • 1 t. minced garlic
  • 3 T. tomato paste
  • 1/2 c. dry red wine
  • 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 t. Italian seasoning
  • 1 t. oregano
  • 1 lb. pasta
  • 1/4 c. pasta water
  • Parmesan cheese and fresh chopped parsley or basil chiffonade
  • Few shakes of cracked red pepper (optional)
  1. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the onion, salt, pepper, and ground beef.  Cook for 10 minutes or until beef is browned.
  2. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook for an additional 15 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Add in tomato paste, wine, and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer for 30 minutes.  Stir occasionally.  
  3. Meanwhile, make the pound of pasta according to package directions.  Reserve 1/4 c. pasta water.
  4. Stir in the oregano and Italian seasoning.  Stir in pasta water.  Spoon over hot pasta and sprinkle with cheese and parsley.
**This sauce can be frozen for up to 6 months.  Great for a make-ahead meal!**

Source: As seen on and adapted by Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks from Cooking Light

1 comment:

Hezzi-D said...

So glad you and hubby enjoyed it! My husband didn't know the difference either and it's so much healthier then traditional meat sauce!