Vegan Bolognese with Mushrooms.
Vegan Bolognese with Mushrooms provides comparable richness and meaty texture to the classic ground meat sauce. Weeknight-friendly and great for make-ahead lunches.
The Best Vegan Bolognese:
This weeknight-friendly bolognese is a vegetarian take on the classic Italian ragù that features mushrooms, a slew of aromatics, and a couple secret umami boosters. It’s the “meatiest” meatless recipe in my dinner arsenal, and comes together in right under an hour. Plus, it holds up incredibly well for leftovers, so consider dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow conquered.
It’s a delicious way to sneak in extra veggies, and guaranteed to win over the hearts of vegetarians and omnivores alike. So, are you ready to get your forks twirling
How to Make Meatless Bolognese Sauce:
It’s no secret that traditional bolognese has a rich cast of meaty characters (sometimes up to three kinds of meat, plus cream and loads of cheese). Here, chopped mushrooms mimic the texture of ground meat while adding plenty of savory depth. Additionally, the classic trio of onions, carrots, and garlic add texture and rich aromatic flavor to the sauce.
In order to channel the umami goodness of classic bolognese, tomato paste is a must. Not only does it add color, body, and bright acidity, but it also ups the savoriness and complexity factor. The trick, however, is to sizzle it in the pan until it turns brick red in color. Allowing it to caramelize takes away the raw tomato flavor, therefore unlocking its full flavor potential.
Another big umami booster is tamari, which may be somewhat unexpected. I like to think of tamari less as a Japanese condiment and more as a universal flavor booster for sauces and marinades. Tamari has a darker color and richer flavor than soy sauce, and is typically less salty.
Most bolognese sauces are finished with butter or cream, however this one leans on plain oatmilk to achieve a full-bodied, dairy-free sauce. The neutral taste and creamy consistency of oat milk made it perfectly suited for a savory sauce.
2 tsp. fennel seeds
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
8 oz. cremini mushrooms
8 oz. shiitake mushrooms
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, cut into segments
1 large carrot, roughly chopped
½ cup tomato paste
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. finely chopped rosemary
½ cup dry red or white wine
1¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper
½ cup chopped walnuts
1 cup Silk Oat Yeah Oatmilk (sub unsweetened almond or cashew milk)
1 Tbsp. lower-sodium tamari
12 oz. tagliatelle or pappardelle pasta
Fresh basil for garnish
1. Toast fennel seeds and red pepper in a skillet over medium for 2 minutes, stirring often, until fragrant. Transfer to a food processor. Add cremini and shiitake mushrooms; pulse until finely chopped. Transfer mixture to a bowl. Add onion and carrot to food processor; pulse until finely chopped.
2. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high. Add mushroom mixture; cook 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden-brown. Add onions and carrots; cook until softened, about 6 more minutes. Push vegetables to one side of the pan and add tomato paste, garlic, and rosemary to open side; cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in wine to deglaze tomato paste side of pan and cook for 2 minutes, until some of the alcohol evaporates. Stir in salt, pepper, walnuts, oatmilk, and tamari. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered, while you prepare pasta.
3. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until almost al dente, about 1 minute less than package directions.
4. Using tongs, transfer pasta to pot with sauce. Add 1 cup pasta cooking liquid and cook, stirring often, until pasta is al dente and sauce is clinging to pasta, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; taste and adjust seasoning as needed (it may need more salt). Divide into each of 6 bowls and garnish with basil, if desired.