Monday, October 30, 2017

Meatless Bolognese

By: The Food Hunter

Often used as a substitute for meat, mushrooms are a cook's secret weapon for slimming down any dish, by drastically reducing calories and fat counts. Mushrooms are also a good source of dietary fiber, protein, amino acids and vitamins and have great healing properties.

Chef Lisa Dahl, executive chef and owner of Dahl & Di Luca and Cucina Rustica in Sedona, uses mushrooms instead of meat in many traditional dishes. Her go-to meatless Bolognese sauce is loaded with Portobello and crimini mushrooms, and tops many of her pastas and fills the layers of her meatless lasagna.

Portobello Paradiso (Meatless Bolognese)
(Recipe Created By Executive Chef Lisa Dahl and can be found in her cookbook: The Elixir of Life: Finding Love and Joy in the Passionate Pursuit of Food)

2 cups red bell peppers, cut in ½ inch squares
1 cup onions, cut in ½ inch squares
8 ounces Portobello mushrooms, with stems
12 ounces button or crimini mushrooms, with stems
 ½ cup olive oil
 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
 ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
 ¼ teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
 ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
 1 cup white wine
 4 cups of Marinara sauce
 ½ cup water (optional)
 ¼ cup minced fresh parsley

Combine peppers and onions in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until they are finely minced, but not watery. Place them in a bowl.

Put the Portobello and button (or crimini) mushrooms in the food processor (no need to wash the bowl) and pulse until they are coarsely chopped. They should resemble chunky, irregular, coarsely ground meal when they are ready. Set them aside in separate bowl.

Put ¼ cup of olive oil in a heated saute skillet. When the oil is smoking, put the minced peppers and onion in the pan and saute them cautiously, so as not to burn them, until they are evenly golden.

Add the minced garlic. Continue sauteing on medium/low until the garlic is softened and golden. Drizzle in a bit more olive oil as you go if needed to keep the mixture coated.

Add the ground mushrooms and allow to cook over a medium flame to draw out their liquid. It should have a meat-like consistency. Add salt, pepper, crush red chiles, oregano and thyme. Stir. If it starts to stick, use the remainder of the olive oil to keep it moist.

Raise the heat, and add 1 cup of white wine. The mixture should be juicy. Slowly reduce until all of the wine is absorbed but the mixture is still slightly moist.

Add marinara. As you continue simmering, it should be fairly hearty in thickness as well as robust in color.

Lower heat to allow the sauce to simmer slowly. Add the water and parsley. Simmer gently approximately 1 ½ hours on very low heat until flavor is concentrated and your palate goes WOW! Just before serving, check the seasonings for correct salt and desired spiciness.


  1. Who needs the meat?! This looks just as hearty and comforting...I'd love a plate of this anytime!

  2. I am always looking for a tasty new dinner recipe. I will have to try this out soon. I bet my kids would like it.

  3. Great use of mushrooms. They are so hearty and filling, I bet I wouldn't even miss the meat!