Vegetable Bolognese Sauce With Angel Hair Pasta
A delicious and very easy meatless Monday weeknight meal. Traditionally Bolognese Sauce is a meat sauce but I’m breaking tradition and made it all vegetables.
Here is a little info on the history of Bolognese Sauce – it’s a traditional sauce that originated in the Northern Italy city of Bologna. There is a little bit of conflict as to where the Bolognese sauce originiated – the city of Naples in the Southern part of Italy has also claimed to have originated the sauce.
In Italy the sauce is called ‘ragu alla Bolognese’ which translated means any meat based sauce.
The traditional recipe begins with celery, onions, and carrots fried in olive oil and butter – in Italian this is called soffrito or in French it’s called mirepoix. Then chopped meats which would be veal, pork and beef are added. Depending on the region where the dish is being prepared the meats may vary based on the ‘specialty’ meat for that region.
What matters most is that it is an easy sauce to prepare and with our creativity in the kitchen, it’s a sauce you can claim to be your own using your favorite ingredients.
O.K. so now we know the history, let’s make it ‘Vegetarian’ Bolognese and call it ‘re-made for the 21st Century.’
For a hearty and rich vegetarian Bolognese I used Portobello and shitake mushrooms which were a great addition to the lighter vegetarian sauce.
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1 large stalk celery, chopped
- 3 Portobello mushrooms, chopped
- 6 shitake mushrooms, chopped
- ½ red pepper, chopped
- 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
- ½ cup red wine (optional)
- 2 TBLS. chopped fresh basil
- 2 TBLS. chopped fresh parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 TBLS. olive oil
- Clean and chop all the vegetables in a small dice.
- In a saute pan with high sides, or a chicken fryer, heat oil and add in the onion and garlic and cook for 3 minutes until they begin to soften.
- Next add in the carrots, celery and pepper and let them cook about 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in the mushrooms and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
- If using the red wine, deglaze the pan with ¼ cup of red wine. (Leave this step out if you do not use wine)
- Add in the diced tomatoes and the tomato sauce stirring to combine all the ingredients. Cook for 15 minutes and stir in the remaining wine if using. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Cover the pan and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add in the parsley and basil toward the end of the cooking.
Serve Vegetable Bolognese Sauce with Angel Hair Pasta or you can use your favorite pasta for a delicious Meatless Monday meal.
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