I grew up in an Italian family and a good spaghetti Bolognese was a Sunday staple. This vegetarian variation is perfect for #meatlessmondays. Not only that, it also helps adding more veggies into my family’s diet (Bonus!). This nourishing sauce kept all the flavor of a good slow cooked Bolognese with none of the meat.
The chopped roasted eggplant mimics the texture of slow cooked ground beef. At the same time, the variety of mushrooms gives the perfect combination of savory notes.
- Food Processor
- 2 eggplant small (organic), cut into cubes
- 2 portobello mushroom quartered
- 1 Yellow onion peeled and chopped
- 2 celery stalks cut into thirds
- 2 carrots cut into thirds
- 4 roma tomatoes cut in half
- 4 garlic cloves peeled
- 8 oz mixed mushrooms (ex. cremini, babybella and shitake) quartered
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 2 tbsp dried oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 dry red wine
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese grated
- 16 oz uncooked durum wheat tagliatelle pasta
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss together eggplant (see cooking note), portobellos, garlic, celery, carrots, tomatoes, 3 tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper (you may need 2 baking sheets or make 2 batches). Spread in a single layer on top of a baking sheet lined with foil. Place the sheet in the oven and bake until vegetables are softened (about 35 min). Turn on Broil, move the veggie tray up and broil until veggies start to get charred in spots (about 5 minutes). Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until chopped. Set aside.
- Meanwhile the vegetables cool, heat the remaining 3 tbsp of olive oil in medium high in a large skilled or Dutch Oven. Add chopped onion and mushroom mix; cook until starts to brown (about 4 minutes). Stir in tomato paste, oregano, bay leaves and red wine. Cook everything until starts to thicken (about 5 minutes). Stir in roasted veggies season with salt and pepper as needed. Remove from heat.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook accordingly to package instructions (al dente). Drain, the pasta leaving about 1 cup of water in the pot. Add drained pasta to the skillet with sauce. Slowly add the cheese to the pasta water and stir it until combined. Add the cheese sauce to the pasta and stir until creamy. Serve topped with grated cheese and chopped fresh parsley (optional).
- Tip for cooking eggplant – I like to peel about half of the eggplant before cutting into one inch cubes. You can also cover it with 1 tbsp. of salt and let sit for about 15-20 minutes and then rinse the salt off before baking. That helps remove some of acidity from the eggplant.
- Make this recipe vegan by not adding parmesan.