A satisfying and “meaty” vegetarian mushroom bolognese that will please even the meat eaters!
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 pound eggplant, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 8 ounces baby bella or button mushrooms, cut into ½-inch pieces (3½ cups)
- 1 cup diced onion (1 small or ½ of a medium onion)
- ¾ cup diced carrot
- ¾ cup diced celery
- 4 large cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup dry red wine, divided
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, or 2 teaspoons dried
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, or ½ teaspoon dried
- 1 pound dry rigatoni or pappardelle pasta
- ¼ basil, roughly chopped, plus more for garnish
- 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts, for serving (optional)
- Parmesan cheese for serving (optional)
- In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high until shimmering. Add eggplant and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes until browned and softened; season with salt. (The eggplant will create a deep fond on bottom of pot—the vegetables and red wine will pull that up and add depth of flavor to the sauce.)
- Transfer eggplant to a medium bowl; add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to Dutch oven.
- Reduce heat to medium and add mushrooms, onion, carrot, and celery; season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, 8–10 minutes. Add garlic, tomato paste, and red pepper flakes; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Deglaze pan with ¾ cup of wine; cook 1 minute. Add reserved eggplant, tomatoes, oregano, and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Bring sauce to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium and simmer 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil; add a tablespoon of kosher salt and pasta. Cook pasta according to directions on package until al dente.
- While pasta is cooking, add remaining wine and basil to sauce. Simmer for an additional 5–10 minutes. When ready, drain pasta and transfer to a large serving bowl, add desired amount of sauce and toss to combine. Top with additional basil, pine nuts, and Parmesan, if using.
Vegan: if serving this as vegan, skip the Parmesan cheese. Or use vegan Parmesan or nutritional yeast.
- Serving Size: 1/8 of the recipe
- Calories: 323
- Sugar: 9g
- Sodium: 519mg
- Fat: 8.5g
- Saturated Fat: 1g
- Carbohydrates: 47g
- Fiber: 6.5g
- Protein: 11g
- Cholesterol: 41mg
Keywords: mushroom bolognese, vegan bolognese, vegetarian bolognese