Learn How to Build Health and Grow Your Wealth!

Tips on Making Mushroom Bolognese

For the past several months, I have been experimenting with eating more vegan meals. This Mushroom Bolognese looks really good to me and I’m excited to try it. I found an interesting discussion of Bolognese sauce and its origins on Wikipedia. Since this is my husbands favorite sauce for pasta, it will be interesting to see if he can take to one that’s not so “authentic.”

mushrooms“The origins of the Bolognese ragù are related to those of the French ragoût, a stew of ingredients reduced to small pieces, which became popular in the 18th century.

The earliest documented recipe for a ragù served with pasta comes from late 18th century Imola, near Bologna, from Alberto Alvisi, cook of the local Cardinal Barnaba Chiaramonti.

In 1891 Pellegrino Artusi published a recipe for a ragù characterized as bolognese in his cookbook. Artusi’s recipe, which he called Maccheroni alla bolognese, is thought to derive from the mid 19th century when he spent considerable time in Bologna (maccheroni being a generic term for pasta, both dried and fresh). The sauce called for predominantly lean veal filet along with pancetta, butter, onion, and carrot. The meats and vegetables were to be finely minced, cooked with butter until the meats browned, then covered and cooked with broth. No tomato sauce was foreseen. Artusi commented that the taste could be made even more pleasant by adding small pieces of dried mushroom, a few slices of truffle, or chicken liver cooked with the meat and diced. As a final touch, he also suggested adding half a glass of cream to the sauce when it was completely done to make it taste even smoother. Artusi recommended serving this sauce with a medium size pasta (“horse teeth”) made from durum wheat. The pasta was to be made fresh, cooked until it was firm, and then flavored with the sauce and Parmigiano cheese.”


Mushroom Bolognese

If you are trying to maintain a healthier diet, try this vegan twist on a bolognese by Janine Ratcliffe


  • dried porcini mushrooms 1.5 oz
  • olive oil 2 tbsp
  • chestnut mushrooms 17.5 oz, finely diced
  • onions 2, chopped
  • garlic 4 cloves, crushed
  • carrots 2, grated
  • celery 2 stalks, finely diced
  • thyme leaves chopped to make 1 tsp
  • rosemary leaves chopped to make 1 tsp
  • celery salt 1 tsp
  • star anise 1
  • tomato purée 2 tbsp
  • chopped tomatoes 2 x 14 oz tins
  • basil ½ a small bunch, torn
  • tagliatelle 14 oz
    (the bold items can be grown on a tower garden)

mushroom bolognese


  • Step 1

Put the porcini in a bowl and pour over ¾ cup of boiling water. Leave to soak while you start the sauce.

  • Step 2

Heat a large non-stick pan until hot and add 1 tbsp olive oil. Add the chestnut mushrooms and a pinch of salt, and fry, stirring, until they start to soften and give out liquid. Keep frying until all the moisture has disappeared and the mushrooms have coloured to a dark golden brown. Don’t skimp on this bit, as this will ensure you get maximum flavour in the finished sauce. Scoop out the mushrooms then add the onions, garlic, carrots and celery to the same pan with another tbsp of olive oil and stir well. Put on a lid and cook for 10 minutes, stirring now and again, or until the veg has softened. Add the herbs, celery salt, star anise and tomato purée. Drain the porcini mushrooms, keeping the liquid. Chop the porcini well and add to the sauce, along with the strained liquid. Tip the cooked chestnut mushrooms back in.

  • Step 3

Cook, stirring, for a minute— then tip in the chopped tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes until the sauce is rich and thick, and stir in the basil just before serving. Cook the tagliatelle following package instructions. Then drain and toss with the sauce before serving.

Are you ready for an adventure?

If you are feeling really adventurous and want a superior taste and experience, consider making your own pasta.


Janette of Culinary Ginger said,

“When making homemade pasta, you start with one recipe and you can make any shape pasta you choose, from this tagliatelle to lasagna sheets and spaghetti.

I love fresh pasta and my favorite is tagliatelle from my favorite region of Italy, Emilia Romagna. They are most famous for prosciutto from Parma, balsamic vinegar from Modena and Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan),  so it is a great place for foodies to visit.

I remember my last visit to Lake Como, my favorite snack was crusty bread, prosciutto and cheese all washed down with Chianti, it is heaven.”

Janette continued, “Tagliatelle looks very similar to fettuccine, so what’s the difference you ask? Well, traditionally fettuccini are wider noodles traditionally served with creamy sauces, where tagliatelle is thinner and traditionally served with a Bolognese Sauce.”

I remember the year my husband worked in Sienna, Italy I was lucky enough to visit for a total of 9 weeks. In addition to the wine and great coffee, I also remember, and can still taste, the crusty bread and cheese, usually washed down with a hearty red wine depending on which part of Italy we were in at the time.

A recipe for pasta follows, but if you would like to watch a how-to-video first, here’s a nice one that’s not very long.

It is much easier than you might think to learn how to make fresh tagliatelle pasta from scratch, especially if you have Italian chef, Gennaro Contaldo, on hand to show you how.


Homemade Tagliatelle Pasta


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons water


  1. On a clean work surface or a bowl, make a mound with the flour. Create a well in the middle and add the eggs, egg yolk, salt, olive oil and water.
  2. Using a fork beat the eggs and begin to incorporate the flour from the inner rim of the mound, making sure the mound stays intact with the other hand by cupping the flour.
  3. The dough will start to come together and once there is no more liquid use your hands to start kneading the dough with the palm of your hands. Do not force the dough to take all the flour, just until the dough comes together and is not too sticky to handle.
  4. If the dough does take all the flour and is still too sticky, add more flour, a little at a time. Continue to knead for up to 10 minutes, the kneading is what makes the dough nice and light.
  5. Once the dough is soft and smooth, wrap it in plastic wrap, making sure it is well wrapped so no areas of the dough dries out. Set aside for 30 minutes to rest.

For pasta machine method:pasta machine

Once the dough has rested, cut it into quarters. Take one quarter, wrap the other quarters back in the plastic wrap.

Shape the quarter with your hands into a rectangle. With your pasta machine set to the largest setting the dough through.

So for your next dinner party …

It may be convenient to use dried pasta but if you want to go all out and impress your guests or simply want to try your hand at something new, this is as good a time as any to get started.

Buon appetito!

Submitted by Gwen O’Neill

Gwen O’Neill has been a gardener for over 40 years and has always been a passionate cook. Her own health challenges led her to experiencing a variety of healing modalities. After finding that her health improved with eating more whole food and improving her nutrition using a real, whole food based supplement called Juice Plus, she committed to sharing this experience with others. The Tower Garden by Juice Plus makes it easy to grow produce right outside your kitchen door.

trio plus omega pic

Juice Plus real food!





info@gwenoneill.comtower garden trio

Speak Your Mind