Vegan Mushroom Bolognese
Serves: 4 to 6
  • ½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms*, about ½ cup
  • 1 ½ tablespoons raw cashew butter (omit if you are allergic or add a some non-dairy milk like unsweetened hemp milk; ATK calls for soy milk)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons warm water
  • 2 pounds cremini mushrooms, trimmed and wiped clean with a damp paper towel (or buy them already cleaned and sliced)
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 28 ounces diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon shoyu or tamari (GF) or coconut aminos (gluten-free and grain-free)
  • 1 pound of cooked pasta of choice or 1 large spaghetti squash cooked and strands removed
  • Grated Parmesan or Pecorino-Romano cheese (not vegan, optional)
  1. Place the dried porcinis in a bowl and cover them with 1 cup boiling water. Set aside for 15 minutes. Scoop the mushrooms from the water with a slotted spoon, reserving the liquid. Pour the mushroom liquid through a coffee filter or paper towel, discarding the gritty solids. Measure ½ cup of mushroom liquid and set aside, you can discard the rest.
  2. Place the porcini and cremini mushrooms in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until everything is diced. Do this in batches if necessary.
  3. Whisk together raw cashew butter and water in small bowl and set aside.
  4. Heat ¼ cup olive oil in an extra-large sauté pan with a lid over medium heat. Add the carrots and onions and mushrooms and cook, covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover, and increase the heat to medium high and sauté until the vegetables caramelize, 10-15 minutes.
  5. Add the sliced garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté until fragrant, about 30 to 60 seconds. Add the tomato paste and ¾ teaspoon salt plus pepper to taste. Cook for 1 minute. Pour in the wine and simmer until almost all of it is evaporated, about 2 minutes.
  6. Stir in tomatoes, reserved mushroom soaking liquid, shoyu and bring to a boil. Add cashew butter-water mixture and simmer sauce until thickened, about 7 minutes. Taste for salt and add more if necessary.
  7. Toss pasta or spaghetti squash with Bolognese sauce and serve with grated cheese, if desired.
*Or sub any dried mushrooms if the porcini are unavailable or too expensive.
This sauce freezes well.
Recipe by Pamela Salzman at