Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Vegetarian Bolognese with Whole Wheat Penne

Lately I've been having a difficult time zipping up pants that fit just fine last winter. I have no idea what might have caused this unfortunate predicament, but it seemed like a good time to order a subscription to Cooking Light. I found this recipe in my first issue, under the heading "Savoring Umami." After cooking this dish, I still don't really know or care what umami is. The important thing is that I had delicious (and healthy!) leftovers for lunch this week.

I liked this recipe, and more importantly, John liked this recipe. While John might never voluntarily cook anything without meat in it (except maybe apple pie), he's been quite receptive to most of the vegetarian recipes I've thrown his way. This has lots of finely chopped mushrooms in it, which give the sauce a meaty texture. The sauce gains plenty of flavor from all of the vegetables and a splash of red wine. I didn't make too many adjustments to the recipe, but I did add some garlic... it just seemed like an obvious addition to the list of ingredients. I used a dried wild mushroom blend in place of the porcinis, and ground them up in a mini food processor since I don't own the spice grinder that they suggest using.

If you like this recipe, stay tuned... come January 1, I'll be blogging a whole week's worth of Cooking Light recipes in honor of America's favorite New Year's resolution.

Vegetarian Bolognese with Whole Wheat Penne
Adapted from Cooking Light

1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms (about 1/4 ounce)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1 (8-ounce) package cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (28-ounce) can organic crushed tomatoes with basil, undrained
1 (2-inch) piece Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind
16 ounces uncooked whole-wheat penne (tube-shaped pasta)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1. Place dried mushrooms in a spice or coffee grinder; process until finely ground.

2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, carrot, celery, and mushrooms; sauté 10 minutes. Add wine; simmer 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Add 1/4 cup warm water and next 4 ingredients (through cheese rind) to onion mixture. Stir in ground porcini. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 40 minutes. Keep warm. Remove rind; discard.

3. Cook pasta according to package directions. Toss with sauce and serve, topping with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Download a printable version.


Michele said...

This sounds like something Giada made before. It looks delicious! I wonder if my bf will eat it. Like yours he isn't into many meat-free dishes.

Looking forward to seeing the Cooking Light recipes!

Bec said...

Hi Michele,
I remember the episode where Giada made the vegetarian bolognese! I bet hers is delicious, if not quite as "light".

Anonymous said...

I google this recipie for the �� breading part of the recipie every time i make ��-parm.... I use this on WHOLE CHICKEN PIECES though. I had to once when i couldn't get breast pieces (budget). Just fry em slower and after flipping the pieces over the 1st time put a top half way over ur skillet &keep checking and flipping until done throughout. It was DELICIOUS! Im making some today for Sunday dinner 4my fam. Thank u 4 this recipie yo!