Super hearty, intensely savory, and packed with Italian spices, this mushroom Bolognese pasta is sure to satisfy vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike!
One time someone asked me what I planned to do when I ran out of recipe ideas for this site. I don't think that will ever happen! For one thing, there's so much you can do with food to begin with. For another thing, the fact that this site is vegan means I have lots of recipes to cover.
You might think keeping my recipes vegan would be limiting. Nope! For every recipe I veganize, there are about a million and one ways to go about it.
Case in point: meat sauce. I've covered this one lots of times, just because there are so many ingredients that are awesome in place of meat. I've done lentils, tempeh, cauliflower + walnuts, and today, I'm sharing a mushroom Bolognese recipe.
And each one is a very different dish!
I think mushroom Bolognese is my favorite. Finely diced and sautéed mushrooms are the perfect texture and give just the right amount of savory flavor to this sauce. It's one of those vegan recipes that anyone can love! Whereas tempeh might scare away someone who is used to meat-based meat sauce, mushrooms are pretty appealing to vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike.
Ingredients You'll Need
- Pasta. I used fettuccine, but feel free to substitute with your favorite pasta shape.
- Olive oil.
- Mushrooms. The recipe calls for a mix of shiitake, cremini, and button mushrooms, but just about any mix of fresh mushrooms will work. Use any or all of the three suggested varieties, or try another such as portobellos or oyster mushrooms.
- Dry red wine. Traditional Bolognese sauce is made with white wine, but we're using red here to give the sauce a richer flavor. You can skip this ingredient if you prefer to cook without alcohol. If you do use it, be sure to check with Barnivore to ensure the wine you buy is vegan.
- Coconut milk. We're using full-fat coconut milk from a can. This will make our sauce super rich and creamy, but you can certainly substitute with light coconut milk or another unsweetened non-dairy milk in order to reduce the fat and calorie content of the dish.
- Canned tomato sauce.
- Soy sauce. Tamari or liquid aminos can be substituted if needed.
- Spices. We're using a mix of dried thyme, basil and oregano, with some fennel seeds.
- Salt & pepper.
- Fresh basil.
How It's Made
The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you'd like to skip right to the recipe!
- Do all of your prep work before you begin cooking the sauce. Chop your onions, carrots and celery, and mince your garlic.
- Finely chop the mushrooms. You'll want them small to mimic the texture of meat. They'll shrink a bit when you cook them, so don't knock yourself out though!
Tip: Make sure to clean your mushrooms correctly. Don't rinse them — they'll suck up water like crazy and get soggy when you cook them! Instead, wipe them down with a damp cloth.
- Heat some of your oil in a large skillet and add your finely chopped mushrooms. Cook them for a few minutes, flipping them here and there, until they darken and shrink.
- Take your cooked mushrooms out of the skillet and transfer them to a plate.
Tip: Resist the temptation to stir your mushrooms while they're cooking. Let them sit and sizzle for a few minutes so they brown.
- Heat a bit more oil in the skillet, then add your diced onion, carrots and celery. Sweat the veggies for a few minutes, until they start to soften.
- Add the garlic and cook it with the veggies for about a minute, until it becomes very fragrant.
- Return the mushrooms to the skillet and pour in the wine. If you're omitting the wine you can obviously skip this step!
- Let the wine simmer for a few minutes in order for the alcohol to cook off. It will reduce by about half during this process.
- Stir in the coconut milk, tomato sauce, spices and soy sauce. Bring your mushroom Bolognese up to a simmer and let it cook until it's thickened a bit and the vegetables are tender.
- Take the sauce off of the burner and season it with salt and pepper. Stir in some fresh basil.
- Toss the mushroom Bolognese sauce with cooked pasta and enjoy! You can optionally serve it with a sprinkle of vegan Parmesan cheese.
Leftovers & Storage
Leftover pasta with mushroom Bolognese will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days or in the freezer for about 3 months. The sauce may thicken a bit during storage, so feel free to thin it with some water if needed.
More Vegan Pasta Recipes
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Pasta with Mushroom Bolognese
Super hearty, intensely savory, and packed with Italian spices, this mushroom Bolognese sauce is sure to satisfy vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike. Perfect for a meatless pasta night!
- 10 ounces dried fettuccine pasta (or pasta of choice)
- ¼ cup olive oil, plus a dash, divided
- 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and finely chopped (Note 1)
- 4 ounces cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
- 4 ounces white button mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 2 medium celery stalks, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup dry red wine
- ½ cup full-fat coconut milk (Note 2)
- 1 (14 ounce or 400 ml) can tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
- Red pepper flakes, to taste
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook it according to the package directions.
Drain the pasta into a colander when it has finished cooking.
Make the sauce while the pasta cooks. Coat the bottom of a large skillet with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and place it over medium heat.
When the oil is hot, add all of the mushrooms (shiitake, cremini, and button) in an even layer.
Allow the mushrooms to cook until browned on the bottoms, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook about 5 minutes more.
Remove the mushrooms from the skillet and transfer them to a plate.
Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet. When the oil is hot, add the onion, carrots and celery. Sauté until the veggies begin to soften, about 10 minutes.
Add the garlic to the skillet and sauté 1 minute, until very fragrant.
Return the mushrooms to the skillet and add the wine. Bring it to a boil, lower the heat and allow it to simmer until reduced by about half, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the coconut milk, tomato sauce, soy sauce, thyme, basil, oregano, and fennel. Raise the heat and bring the mixture to a boil.
Lower the heat and allow the sauce to simmer for about 20 minutes, until the veggies are fully cooked and the sauce is thick and rich.
Remove the skillet from heat and stir in the fresh basil. Season the sauce with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste.
Add the cooked pasta and toss it with the sauce.
Divide onto plates and serve.
- Feel free to replace any of the mushrooms (shiitake, cremini, button) with another variety of fresh mushroom. You can use all of one type, or a mix! Portobello and oyster mushrooms would be great options.
- You could also use light coconut milk or another variety of unflavored non-dairy milk, but your sauce won't be quite as rich and creamy.