Avoid the crowded bars this weekend by creating a chic restaurant feel in your own home and enjoying a tasty vegan Italian dinner for two. This Vegan Italian Dinner originates from a genuine Italian recipe and is the perfect excuse for a stay at home date night or a chilled night in with a friend watching the Bachelor.
Mushroom Bolognese by Jennifer at Delicious Everyday, is a fun spin on the Italian classic, and with a few small tweaks, you can make this meal gluten-free too. Also, because it serves four, you’ll be able to put some in tubs enjoy all over again.
Vegan Italian Dinner – Mushroom Bolognese
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Serves 4
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- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 2 medium sized carrots peeled and diced
- 1 celery stalk diced
- 3 cloves of garlic chopped
- 1 tbs thyme leaves roughly chopped
- 10 g (1/3 oz) dried wild mushrooms reconstituted in 2½ tbs boiling water
- 500 g mushrooms diced
- 1 tbs tomato paste
- 1 cup red wine (shiraz and pinot noir work well here)
- 2 tbs soy sauce
- 400 g (14 oz) can of chopped Italian tomatoes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 400 g (14 oz) dried spaghetti
N.B.: If you use gluten-free soy sauce and gluten-free spaghetti then the meal can be gluten-free too!
1) Place a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion, carrots and celery, season with salt and cook until slightly golden and caramelized.
2) Next, add the mushrooms. I like to do this in 4 batches, so they all get a chance to cook properly. Once each batch is cooked, add more until all of the mushrooms are cooked. Add the garlic and thyme, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the garlic is cooked.
3) Now remove the wild mushrooms from the boiling water, reserving the soaking water, and roughly chop the wild mushrooms. Add the wild mushrooms along with the tomato paste to the pan and increase the heat to medium-high. Add the red wine, mushroom soaking liquid and soy sauce. Cook until the wine has almost evaporated before adding the tinned tomatoes and season with salt.
4) Move the frying pan to your smallest burner, cover and reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour or until the sauce is thick and rich (depending on your patience, although the longer it cooks, the better the flavor). Check and stir occasionally to make sure it isn’t catching. Check and adjust the seasonings as necessary and remove from the heat.
5) Just before the sauce is ready, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Season generously with salt, and add the spaghetti and cook according to the packet directions. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water and return to the saucepan and top with the mushroom Bolognese and cooking water. Toss to combine and divide between 4 bowls to serve. Top with grated parmesan or nutritional yeast if you are vegan.