Vegetarian Bolognese Sauce


The new fave recipe in the Lanjopoulos household (here and Norway!)

vegetarian bolognese sauceServes 4 

Prep Time: 35-45 minutes


  • 1 cup boiling-hot water
  • 1 ten ounce packet of dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded
  • 2 celery ribs, minced
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced/grated
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 3/4 lb dried noodles of choice
  • 1 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/2 cup) plus additional for serving (optional)
  • Optional…I add a cup of cooked lentils
  • Also optional   8ozs finely chopped baby bella mushrooms


      1. Soak mushrooms in boiling-hot water 15 minutes.
      2. Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Add chopped vegetables and garlic (including baby bellas if using), rosemary, salt, and pepper and sauté, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are golden brown and tender, about 12 minutes.
      3. Lift mushrooms out of soaking liquid, squeeze excess liquid back into bowl (reserve liquid), and rinse mushrooms well to remove any grit.  Filter the soaking water through a coffee filter to remove any residue. Set aside.  Finely chop mushrooms, then add to vegetables in skillet along with tomato paste. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine and boil until wine is reduced by about half, about 2 minutes. Stir in lentils if using.
      4. While sauce is cooking, cook pasta in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta-cooking water in a heatproof measuring cup, then drain pasta in a colander.


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