This mushroom Bolognese is the perfect recipe for those looking to increase the amount of vegetable-based meals that they eat. The base is similar to a meat based Bolognese apart from the mince meat is substituted with mushrooms. You may be sceptical that mushrooms can produce the same texture and flavour as meat, however simmering the sauce for 20 minutes allows the mushrooms to become rich and flavoursome.
850g Mushrooms ideally a mix of chestnut, portobello and button
2 Onions, peeled and finely chopped
2 sticks of Celery, washed and finely chopped
2 small Carrots, washed and chopped
3 Garlic Cloves, peeled and chopped
½ dried Rosemary & Thyme, use fresh if available
3 tbsp Smoked Chilli Harissa
Salt and Pepper
400g tin of Chopped Tomatoes
To save time finely chop the mushrooms in a food processor, or chop by hand until very fine. Put a large saucepan on a high heat and when hot add the mushrooms and leave to cook for a couple of minutes before stirring. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally or until most of the water has evaporated. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Turn the heat down to medium-high and add the olive oil, and when hot add the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, herbs and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened and sweet.
Return the mushrooms to the pan and add the Smoked Chilli Harissa, Balsamic Vinegar and chopped tomatoes. Rinse the tomato tin with a splash of water and add to the pan as well. Mix to combine and bring up to the boil, then turn down and put a lid on and simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, put a pan of hot water onto boil.
Add the pasta to the seasoned boiling water and cook according to the packet instructions. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add the sauce, stirring to coat the pasta with the sauce. Divide between plates and garnish with fresh basil if desired.