Portobello and Spinach Bolognese

A medley of veggies, including meaty portobellos and vibrant green spinach, gives this vegetarian-friendly bolognese a rich flavor for all to enjoy.


  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms or mixed wild mushrooms
  • 2 cups water or chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
  • 4 large portabello mushrooms, gills scraped, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and finely chopped or grated
  • 1 small rib celery, finely chopped
  • 3-4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1 box organic chopped frozen spinach (10 ounces), defrosted and wrung dry in kitchen towel
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 pound pappardelle or fettuccine pasta
  • A handful fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Grated Pecorino Romano cheese


Place the dried mushrooms in small pot and cover with water or chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and steep.

Heat a heavy pot over medium to medium-high heat with two turns of the pan of EVOO. When hot, add the butter and melt into the EVOO, then add portabellos. After 6 minutes, add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and bay leaf. Sauté until tender, 15 minutes, then separate and add the spinach. Season the spinach mixture with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Deglaze the pot with the wine.

Remove the dried mushrooms from the steeping liquid. Chop the mushrooms and stir them into the sauce. Add the steeping liquid, reserving the last few spoonfuls, as any grit on the mushrooms will have settled at the bottom. Stir in the milk. Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Cool completely and store for a make-ahead meal.

Reheat the dish over medium heat. Add a little stock or milk to loosen the sauce up again.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt the water and cook the pasta to al dente. Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce. Serve in shallow bowls, topped with parsley and Pecorino cheese.

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