This started off as me trying to make a mushroom bolognese type thing, as a healthy compromise to the fact that I’ve basically just eaten pasta day after day for the last week. It didn’t end up being a mushroom bolognese – but rather a rich, tangy, powerful tasting sauce full of umami that honestly I could eat for days on end. We ended up eating double the amount of sauce that my picture shows. For someone that loves intense flavours, this was truly awesome – completely vegetarian, and can be made vegan if you substitute the mascarpone for a plant/soy based cream cheese, so everyone can enjoy it! Of course if you buy gluten free pasta it can also be made gluten free.
To prove my point, here is a quote I received:
‘This sauce has made it into my top three pasta sauces I have ever had in my entire life’ – Alexander O’Connor, aka my best friend and most frequent recipe taster
I don’t mean to toot my own horn, and I acknowledge this probably sounds like I’m bigging myself up way too much – this was a bit of a fluke, stemming from the fact I didn’t have many of the required ingredients to make my original sauce, and also had to use up leftover goods (i.e. the pasta sauce and the mascarpone). But this is a recipe I intend to make over, and over, and over again, and to be honest, I’m just astounded that it worked out. The first taste was almost a complete shock, the second reaffirmed that I wasn’t just being optimistic, and then the rest of the tastes happened so fast and so enthusiastically I can barely remember them. But either way, I thought it was pretty good. Enjoy!
Ingredients (serves 2 hungry people, however if you double the pasta this will easily stretch to even 4)
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 300g closed cap mushrooms, roughly sliced
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 large red onion, finely diced
- 2tbsp sun-dried tomato paste (if you can’t find pre made paste, simply crush sun-dried tomatoes in a pestle and mortar)
- 2tbsp tomato paste
- 1 vegetable stock cube in 150ml of boiling water
- 1tsp dried thyme
- handful finely chopped basil/2 tsp dried basil
- 3tbsp mascarpone
- 150g bolognese sauce (any, but I just used Aldi’s super cheap 60p one!) If you don’t have one, use passata instead and add a little salt, pepper, and a teaspoon of sugar.
- Grated Parmigiano Reggiano to serve
- 200g tagliatelle
- First, heat the oil in a large saucepan pan and add the onions. Fry for about 10 minutes, and keep the onions moving so they don’t burn. Then add the garlic, and fry for another 2/3 minutes.
- In a separate pan, boil water and cook the pasta till it is al dente – if this is dried pasta it will take between 9-13 minutes, so start cooking now, but if it is fresh, then it may only take a couple minutes, in which case start cooking a little later.
- Add the stock and mushrooms and cook (still stirring frequently) for about 5/6 minutes, and then add the sun dried tomato paste, the tomato paste, thyme, and basil.
- Finally lower the heat and add the mascarpone, stirring until fully melted down and incorporated in the sauce.
- Serve with the pasta and a sprinkle of Parmigiano Reggiano, and enjoy!