Entrée, Gluten-Free, Italian, One Pot Dish, Vegetarian

The Best Meatless Bolognese

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You have to trust me. This is delicious. Like I-need-seconds-right-now delicious. Like better than any dish served at Matzaluna (Allie knows what I mean). The ingredient list may look a wee bit long and/or intimidating, but this Creamy Vegetable Bolognese is really quite simple. I must admit, I don’t care for mushrooms. It has nothing to do with flavor and everything to do with texture. I just can’t get over that chewiness. By tossing the mushrooms into a food processor with all the other vegetables, you take care of that texture issue. This sauce would be perfect over your favorite pasta (spaghetti squash or zoodles), meat, white fish or even on a crusty piece of bread as an app. I loved it. Another winner from Giada’s Feel Good Food. I can’t wait to make it again, but I think I’ll need a double batch next time . . .

Ingredients (serves 6-8).

  • 8 oz. package of whole cremini mushrooms, washed
  • 1 red bell pepper, washed and seeds removed
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper, washed and seeds removed
  • 2 medium carrots, washed and peeled
  • 1 onion
  • 1 t minced garlic
  • 1 T light olive oil
  • 1 t dried thyme
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 1/8 t of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 t sea salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 container cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
  • 1/2 c cooking sherry (or red wine)
  • 3 T tomato paste
  • 1½ c vegetable broth, hot
  • 1/4 c mascarpone cheese (optional, but adds a creamy richness!) *

* NOTE: to be fully vegan and/or dairy-free, omit the mascarpone cheese.

Directions.

  1. In a large food processor, combine carrots, onions, both peppers, whole cremini mushrooms, and garlic and pulverize until well chopped.
  2. In a large pot, heat the light olive oil over medium high heat. Add chopped vegetables, spices, sea salt and pepper and halved cherry tomatoes to the large pot. Sauté vegetables until slightly cooked, about 5-7 min.
  3. Pour in cooking sherry to the vegetable pot. While stirring constantly, cook until most of the liquid has been cooked off, about 5 min.
  4. Heat broth until steaming. Add in hot broth and tomato pasta and stir until tomato paste dissolves.
  5. Simmer sauce over low heat and until the broth is reduced by half the amount and vegetables are tender, about 25-30 min.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in mascarpone cheese (optional).
  7. Top your favorite pasta, spaghetti squash or zoodles, meat, white fish or even on a crusty piece of bread.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis‘ recipe for “Whole Roasted Chicken with Vegetable Bolognese” in Giada’s Feel Good Food.

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Shown with spaghetti squash (how to easily cook here), sautéed spinach and chicken sausage.

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