Penne with Bolognese Mushroom Sauce

My family loves pasta! All kinds of pasta and lots of different pasta sauces. Some of our favorites have always included meat. As we have moved to meatless meals, I have been experimenting with ways to adapt our favorites into meatless alternatives.

One of our favorites is Rachel Ray’s Penne with Classic Bolognese Meat Sauce. It is a nice, light, slightly spicy sauce over yummy penne pasta. I have tried making the recipe but leaving out the meat. It isn’t bad, but it was missing the texture and substance that made it a favorite.

My latest experiment is the best so far.

8 ounces baby bella (cremini) mushroom – ground
cracked black pepper to taste
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 pinches allspice (the secret ingredient)
½ medium Spanish onion, minced
1/3 cup red wine
2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce (if you want to be vegan, make sure this sauce is too because they sometimes contain anchovies).
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound penne pasta


Start by grinding the mushrooms to the consistency of ground beef. I used a food processor for this task and chopped until the mushrooms were small crumbles.  I use the same food processor to mince the onion so it is very, very small.

Sauté the mushroom crumbles, minced onion, minced garlic and pepper in the olive oil over medium heat until the onion sweetens (about 2 minutes). Add the crushed red pepper and allspice and sauté another minute.

Add the wine and crushed tomatoes. Cover loosely (with the lid slight off the pan) and simmer while you cook the pasta. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and toss it with the sauce.

Serve with a salad and yummy bread. Delicious!

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