Mushroom Bolognese

Cremini Mushroom Bolognese by A Cozy Kitchen

Adrianna of A Cozy Kitchen warms up your kitchen this winter with a blended Mushroom Bolognese that replaces a portion of ground beef with cremini mushrooms.

If there’s one dish I could eat every single day of my life, it would be bolognese. It is, in my opinion, the coziest of meals. There’s something incredibly comforting about eating a bowl of pasta topped with bolognese that’s been simmering on the stove for a few hours.

If you’re looking at a bolognese recipe and it doesn’t have carrots listed in the ingredients, run for the hills! The sweetness balances the acidity from the tomatoes so beautifully. In this bolognese, I wanted mushrooms and meat to complement each other, so I blended the two ingredients for a balanced ratio of 1 to 1. In this recipe, cremini mushrooms are the star. They work beautifully with the other flavors, creating a hearty meal that’s perfect for a chilly night.



Mushroom Bolognese


2 tablespoons olive oil

2 medium carrots, trimmed, peeled and diced

1 shallot, minced

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning

1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

5 tablespoons tomato paste

1/4 pound ground beef or pork

6-8 cremini mushrooms, diced

1 24-ounce can diced or cherry San Marzano tomatoes

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons grated Parmesan-Reggiano, plus more for garnish

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Italian parsley, for garnish


1. To a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the diced carrots and minced shallots. Cook until the carrots and softened and the shallots turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, tomato paste and beef; using a wooden spoon, break up the beef into crumbles. Sprinkle the beef with a few pinches of salt and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5-7 minutes, until the meat has browned.

2. Next, add the diced mushrooms and stir. Pour in the can of tomatoes. Add 1/2 cup (you can eyeball this measurement) of water to the tomato can, swishing it around so you get all of the remnants of tomato juice; pour the tomato water into the pot and stir. Bring the tomato sauce to a slight simmer and then turn the heat to low. Cover the pot and cook for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. At the 20 minute mark, stir in the balsamic vinegar, Parmesan-Reggiano and splash or two of water, if it’s cooked down a bit too much. Cover the pot once more and cook for an additional 20 minutes, until the sauce is fragrant and has thickened slightly. If at any time the sauce becomes too thick, you can simply add a bit more tomato paste and 1/4 cup of water or veggie stock. Right before tossing with the pasta, add the butter and mix until melted.

3. Meanwhile, boil some salted water and cook the pasta per the box’s instructions. Toss the pasta with a few tablespoon of sauce and serve with a few spoonfuls of bolognese on top. Garnish with more Parmesan-Reggiano and sprinkle of Italian parsley.

Serves 4

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