Rigatoni with Vegetable Bolognese

A veggie version of Britain's favourite comfort dish, pasta in bolognese sauce.

  • Preparation Time20 mins
  • Cooking Time25 mins
  • Serves6
  • DifficultyEasy
30g dried porcini mushrooms
375ml hot water
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves
60ml olive oil
2 tsps chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp chopped fresh oregano leaves
2 tsps salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
150g assorted mushrooms (like shiitake, cremini, and brown), stemmed and chopped
2 tbsps tomato paste
120ml red wine
75g mascarpone cheese
500g rigatoni pasta
25g Parmesan cheese
1) Place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with 375ml very hot water. Set aside and let the mushrooms soften.

2) Place the carrots, onion, pepper, and garlic in a food processor. Pulse the vegetables until finely chopped but still chunky.

3) Place the olive oil in a large, heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the chopped vegetables, thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper and cook until tender, about six minutes.

4) Strain the porcini mushrooms, reserving the porcini mushroom liquid. Add the porcini mushrooms, fresh mushrooms, and tomato paste and continue cooking, stirring to dissolve the tomato paste, until the mushrooms are softened, about five minutes. Add the porcini mushroom liquid and red wine. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and let the mixture simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes.

5) Add mascarpone cheese and stir just until the cheese is incorporated.

6) Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta, reserving 120ml of the cooking liquid and add to the vegetable mixture. Add some of the reserved pasta cooking liquid, if necessary, to moisten the sauce.

7) Toss with Parmesan and serve.

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