Mushroom Bolognese

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes


2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion minced

2 medium sized carrots peeled and minced

1 celery stalk diced

3 cloves of garlic chopped

1 tbsp thyme leaves roughly chopped

10 g (1/3 oz) dried wild mushrooms reconstituted in 2½ tbsp boiling water

500 g mushrooms minced, 1.1 pound

1 tbsp tomato paste

1 cup red wine shiraz and pinot noir work well here

2 tbsp soy sauce, gluten-free variety if needed

400 g (14 oz) can of diced Italian tomatoes

salt and pepper to taste

400 g dried spaghetti (14 oz)


  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 caramelised.

  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 to 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 (depending on your patience although the longer it cooks the better the flavour, check and stir occasionally to make sure it isn’t catching), or until the sauce is thick and rich. 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 a 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.