About this Mushroom Sauce:
What to serve with:
Lifestyle Update: We Are Going Plant Based!
Best ever, this vegetarian mushroom Bolognese sauce is easy, hearty and tastes like the real thing. Made with wild mushrooms, roasted peppers, eggplant (aubergine) and meaty San Marzano tomatoes.
- 2 X 28 oz canned San Marzano Tomatoes
- 1 eggplant -large (or 2 smaller ones)
- 5 red bell peppers
- 3/4 lb wild mushrooms - your favorites
- 1 onion -diced
- 6 cloves garlic - minced
- 2 tbsp dry oregano
- 2 tbsp smoked paprika
- 2 leaves bay
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup red wine -optional
- 1 tsp sea salt + more to taste
- 2 sprigs fresh basil - for garnish
- 2 tbsp fresh oregano leaves
- 2 tbsp fresh Italian parsley - chopped
- 2 lb rigatoni or bucatini pasta
Preheat a large cast iron plate and roast the eggplant and bell peppers until charred all over. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to cool.
Once cool enough to handle remove the charred skins. Scoop the flesh of the eggplant into a bowl and transfer to a food processor. Process until a nice chunky rustic texture is achieves.
Peel the bell peppers and add them to the bowl of a food processor. Purée until you attain a rustic texture. Refrigerate until needed.
Rinse and slice the Mushrooms if needed, depending on the variety you use.
In a large pot over medium flame add a lug of olive oil and the onion. Give it a good stir and add the mushrooms with a good pinch of sea salt. Cook until the moisture is almost all reduced.
Sprinkle in the grated garlic and paprika and cook another 10 seconds or so taking good care not to burn it. Mix in the oregano and red pepper flakes. (At this point you and reserve some of the mushrooms for garnish If you like)
Add the red wine and stir well. Simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
Add the roasted eggplant and bell peppers to the pot together with the bay leaf and bring to a simmer.
Use your hands to crush the tomatoes while maintaining some rustic chunks for texture.
Stir and bring to a gentle simmer. Partially cover with a lid and cook for about 45minutes to 1 hour until the sauce had reduced to your liking.
Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a good amount of sea salt. (the water should taste like sea water). Add the Rigatoni and cook according to the directions on the box.
Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce. Serve with the fresh herbs and reserved Mushrooms on top.
I used oyster mushrooms, they have a little bit of a chewy texture reminiscent of squid, so make sure you like both the flavor and the texture when choosing your mushrooms for this dish.