Vegetarian Bolognese with Bucatini

vegetarian bolognese with bucatini
Photo: Con Poulos
Prep Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins

Finely chopped cremini mushrooms boost the savory factor in this rich and saucy meat-free Bolognese. It coats and clings to noodles and is an excellent base for lasagna, so make sure to use up the extra sauce for meals on the fly. You can quickly combine it with fiber-rich grains to bake inside bell peppers, or serve it on sliced, sautéed polenta rounds.


  • 1 ½ pounds cremini mushrooms, cleaned and quartered

  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • 1 medium onion, finely diced

  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely diced

  • 2 celery stalks, finely diced

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • ½ cup dry sherry or dry white wine

  • 1 rosemary sprig, roughly chopped

  • 1 pound bucatini or spaghetti

  • 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano or pecorino, finely grated (½ cup), plus more for serving


  1. Working in batches, pulse mushrooms in a food processor until finely ground (you should have 6 cups). Transfer to a bowl. Add tomatoes and their juices to processor; pulse until chopped, then transfer to a liquid cup measure (you should have 3 cups).

  2. Heat butter and oil in a large pot over medium. Add onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Cook, stirring, until onion is tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add mushrooms and season with salt; cook, stirring, until mushrooms have softened and released their liquid, 7 to 8 minutes.

  3. Add sherry and increase heat to medium-high; cook until liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes more. Add tomatoes, 1 cup water, and rosemary. Season with pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 30 to 45 minutes. Season to taste.

  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta water, then drain. Return pasta to pot over medium heat and add 4 cups sauce, tossing to combine. Add cheese and drizzle with oil, then add reserved pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time, until sauce has a silky consistency and evenly coats pasta. Remove from heat; serve with more cheese.

Cook's Notes

This recipe yields about two cups of extra sauce; let cool completely and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to one week, or freeze for up to one month.

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