A vegetarian take on a classic: Mushroom Bolognese

Here’s a light version of the Italian classic Bolognese sauce that’s quick, easy and won’t break the calorie bank. A mixture of different sliced mushrooms creates the base for this vegetarian dinner. I use portobello and shiitake mushrooms. If your market sells other wild mushrooms such as oyster, morels or chanterelle, you can use them to add other texture and flavor. One secret to the rich flavor is to thinly slice the onions and cook them until they are sweet. Another hint is to add orange zest to the sauce. This adds a little sweetness and an intriguing flavor.

For maximum flavor, zest the orange holding it over the sauce. This will capture more of the orange flavor.

MUSHROOM BOLOGNESE

INGREDIENTS

1/2 pound portobello mushrooms

1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms or mixed wild mushrooms

Olive oil spray

1 cup thinly sliced onion

1/2 cup thinly sliced celery

3 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves or 2 teaspoons dried

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves or 2 teaspoons dried

1/4 cup dry white wine

2 cups reduced-sodium marinara sauce

Zest from 1 orange (about 1 tablespoon)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 pound spaghetti

2 tablespoons chopped parsley (optional garnish)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS

Place a large pot with 3 to 4 quarts water on to boil for spaghetti. Slice all of the mushrooms to 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and spray with olive oil spray.

Add onion and celery. Sauté 5 minutes, without browning. Add garlic, oregano, rosemary and mushrooms. Sauté 5 minutes, stirring mushrooms to cook evenly. Add white wine and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 1 minute. Add the marinara sauce and orange zest and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, add spaghetti to boiling water and cook 9 minutes or according to package instructions.

Drain and divide between two dinner plates. Serve Bolognese sauce over the spaghetti. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley (if using). Makes 2 servings.

(Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer.)

— Tribune News Service

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