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Vegetable Bolognese

Vegetable Bolognese

This wonderful dish came out of a lazy weekend at the Sonoma Coast with just the two of us. Our kid was off galivanting in Italy, we were missing her and dreaming of eating all that amazing pasta. We consider this the perfect Sunday afternoon thing to have simmering away on the stove making the house smell amazing. It's a little healthier than it's more meaty original but does have nduja which is a is a spicy, spreadable pork sausage. If you want to make it completely vegetarian just omit the nduja. We hope you enjoy it either way.


One medium onion, chopped 10 oz pappardelle pasta
One medium fennel bulb, chopped 4 oz package of ‘nduja (omit if you want a true vegetarian option)
15 cloves garlic, crushed ½ tbsp espelette pepper
1 pound cremini mushrooms One cup dry wine, preferably Riesling
 24 oz tomato puree Olive oil
 1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn Freshly grated parmesan cheese

Pre heat oven to 400 degrees.

Clean mushrooms and chop into quarters.  Toss with some olive oil and about one tablespoon of garlic.  Spread evenly on baking sheet and roast until soft, but not completely dehydrated, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Set aside to cool.

Heat large sauté pan over medium heat.  Add olive oil, then onion, fennel, white wine and Espellete Pepper and stir frequently.  Once softened, reduce heat to medium low and continue to cook until very soft and slightly brown.  Add garlic and ‘nduja and cook and stir until ‘nduja is broken apart and incorporated completely, about three minutes.  Add roasted mushrooms and tomato puree and reduce heat to simmer.  Simmer for 30 minutes or so to incorporate flavors.

Boil a large stock pot and add pasta.  Cook according to package instructions or until desired doneness.  Before pasta finishes cooking, add torn basil into sauce and stir to combine.

When pasta is ready, add one cup of pasta water to sauce and stir to combine.  Drain pasta and dump into large mixing bowl.  Add sauce with a ladle one scoop at a time until you have enough to coat pasta.  Season with salt to taste.  Save or freeze remaining sauce for another time.

Divide pasta into four large bowls and top with fresh parmesan.

Serve with a hearty red like Aglianico or Zinfandel

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