Vegetarians can still get a rich, hearty and satisfying bowl of pasta with this bolognese based on two types of delicious mushrooms. Cook up the chunky, veggie-packed sauce then toss it through perfectly al dente pasta for an Italian feast that will make you cry "Bravo!"
dried porcini mushrooms
grated Parmesan cheese(ContainsMilk)
Bring a kettle of water to the boil. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. In a heatproof jug or bowl, combine the boiling water from the kettle (3/4 cup for 2 people / 1 1/2 cups for 4 people) and dried porcini mushrooms. Set aside.
In a large frying pan, heat 1/2 the butter and a drizzle of olive oil over a medium-high heat. When the butter has melted, add the sliced mushrooms and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and browned, 5-7 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. While the mushrooms are cooking, finely chop the brown onion. Finely chop the celery. Finely chop the garlic (or use a garlic press). Grate the carrot (unpeeled).
Add the spaghetti to the saucepan of boiling water and cook until ‘al dente’, 9 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving some pasta water (1/2 cup for 2 people / 1 cup for 4 people), then drizzle with olive oil to prevent sticking.
Add a drizzle of olive oil to the mushrooms. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook until softened, 6-7 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the passata, porcini mushrooms (roughly chop any big pieces), the salt, brown sugar and some reserved pasta water (1/4 cup for 2 people / 1/2 cup for 4 people). Add the porcini soaking liquid (leave any gritty bits at the bottom of the jug). Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until thickened, 5 minutes.
Pick the basil leaves and finely chop (reserve some for garnish). Add the chopped basil and remaining butter to the sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the spaghetti and toss to coat. Loosen with a little more reserved pasta water if needed.
Divide the porcini mushroom spaghetti bolognese between plates. Top with the grated Parmesan cheese and reserved basil.