Bolognese with Shiitake Mushrooms and Carrots
You really can’t beat a good Bolognese; it’s like a hug in a bowl. As with so many great recipes, it doesn’t take a lot of ingredients or effort to make, but it does take time in order to achieve that glorious texture and depth of flavour. You’re going to go low and slow - it’ll take around 3 hours to cook – but I promise you it will be worth it!
- 500 g beef mince see Lisa’s tip
- 1 red onion finely chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil or you can use the oil from the sun-dried tomato jar
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 carrots peeled and cut into small cubes
- 125 g shiitake mushrooms finely chopped
- 6 sun-dried tomatoes finely sliced
- 500 ml passata sauce I recommend the brand Mutti
- 2 tsp honey
- sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
- garlic granules
- cracked black pepper
- white pepper
- freshly grated Manchego, Pecorino, Parmigiano Reggiano or vegan Parmesan cheese
- chopped basil orparsley
- pasta (my preference is gluten-free red lentil pasta)
- Place a large, heavy based casserole dish over a gentle heat, add the oil and sauté the chopped onions until they’re soft and translucent – around 5 minutes. Add the cubed carrots and continue to sauté for a further 5 minutes. Season with sea salt, Herbamare and white pepper, then add the shiitake mushrooms and continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring continuously. Stir in the tomato paste so that it thoroughly coats the vegetables.
- Gradually add the meat, using the back of a wooden spoon to break it up and press it into the vegetables so that everything gets blended, and there are no big lumps of mince left – this should take around 5 minutes. Season again with sea salt, Herbamare, a touch of cracked black pepper and the garlic granules.
- Turn the heat up to medium, stir in the sliced sun-dried tomatoes, passata sauce and honey and continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Check for seasonings, then reduce the heat to low, cover the dish and leave to cook for a further 2 ½ to 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Just before serving, remove the lid from the dish, increase the heat to medium/high and let the sauce reduce slightly.
- Serve with freshly cooked pasta (tagliatelle or pappardelle work well) and freshly grated cheese (or vegan cheese if dairy-free).
- When making this recipe, I’d LOVE to see how you get on so either send me a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org or post a picture to Instagram using the #myrelationshipwithfood and tag@myrelationshipwithfood
LISA’S TIP – I love to make this at the weekend and, as it’s one of those dishes where the flavour improves over time, I quite often make extra so that we can have it during the week too. The secret to getting a delicious sauce is to let it cook for a long time- simmering for 3-4 hours will allow the rich flavours to develop and your tastebuds really will thank you for it plus your house will smell amazing! I find that pre-packaged mince can often have a stringy appearance/texture which I find off-putting, so I like to massage the meat by hand before using – this gives you a much smoother sauce. Don’t think you have to stick to serving this delicious sauce with pasta – it also works well with rice (normal or cauliflower), with baked potatoes or used to stuff vegetables such as squash or aubergines. You can keep the sauce in the refrigerator for two to three days, and it can also be frozen for up to 3 months.