Mushroom + Turnip Bolognese

I follow a lot of food bloggers. Sometimes I find myself daydreaming about what it would like to live the life of Julia Child, not worrying about butter or her waistline. Recently I made the decision that my love of baking and cooking was allowed to show itself in my business. Why did I think that it needed to stay separate? I have no idea but I would probably make the guess that some business model somewhere said something about keeping your passions separate because brides don’t want to see family photos or baking escapades in the kitchen. If I could find that business model I would promptly throw it out the window. Because that’s essentially what I’ve decided to do – throw keeping my passions separate out the window!

As the weather changes and spring eases it’s way into bloom, I found myself wanting one more rich spaghetti type dish. Clinging to the tiny remainders of the cool weather in the evening, a blogger I’ve come to love had posted a recipe for a bolognese and the image she posted to instagram was burned into my subconscious. After finding the recipe I spent a little too much money at the local Fresh Market and came home and put my cooking skills to good use. Following recipes is a little abnormal for me…I’m the type of girl in the kitchen that looks at the recipe for the general idea and then I make it my own. I find that I’m a little too creative for my own good because there have been some major flops in the Olimb household of baking experiments. But this time, I decided to stick to the recipe and let me tell you, recipes are apparently there for a reason because this was delicious…although I may have tweaked it just a little. 

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil – I didn’t measure, cause seriously who measures olive oil?
  • 1 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 carrots, scrubbed and finely diced – I didn’t scrub…I call it earthy. 
  • 1 celery rib, finely diced
  • 1 small turnip, peeled, trimmed, and finely diced – Mmm yeah, didn’t peel my turnip because I skimmed the recipe and diced before I saw the peeled bit.
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • sea salt
  • 1 cup red wine – Measure wine? Nope, pour till generously doused…I think I ended up with half the bottle in there! I used Undone Pinot Noir from the local ABC Liquors and let me tell you, it’s my new favorite Pinot Noir! 
  • 6 tablespoons tomato paste (about 3 ounces)
  • 1/2 pound tree oyster mushrooms, stems trimmed and sliced – The usual mushroom selection in our Fresh Market was sad so I went with baby bellas 
  • 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, stems discarded and sliced – …Shitaki, because the only cremini were dried and I have an aversion to dried fungus.
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced – Pretty sure I put four cloves because we’re anti vampires in this house.
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan, plus more for garnish – I didn’t use this because *gasp* I know, I forgot to add the cheese!!
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream – I don’t typically keep much dairy in the house so instead, I used homemade coconut milk. I was a little nervous about it but you didn’t even notice it so all in all, I don’t think it ruined anything. 
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced rosemary, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon finely mined thyme leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1 pound wide ribbon noodles, such as pappardelle, tagliatelle, or fettuccine – I served this over spaghetti squash, which I wouldn’t recommend. Spaghetti squash has a sweetness to it that totally clashed with the savory awesomeness of this dish. I ended up eating it like a stew and ate the spaghetti squash separate because it just did not go together. Next time, pasta will definitely be on the agenda! 
  1. Set a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add olive oil; when it starts to shimmer, add onion, carrots, celery, turnip, red pepper flakes, and several pinches sea salt. (Flavors will concentrate as dish cooks and t’s best salted a little at a time.) Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.
  2. Pour in wine and tomato paste, and stir. Fold in mushrooms, garlic, a pinch of sea salt, and water. Heat mixture until it bubbles gently, then turn down to medium-low and cook, stirring often, for 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook paste to al dente. Reserve several cups pasta water for plating.
  4. Just before serving, stir in Parmesan, cream, and herbs, and cook 5 minutes. Taste, and adjust salt levels as needed.
  5. Twist pasta onto plates, using a splash of pasta water as needed to loosen it, and top with several spoonfuls bolognese. Top with grated Parmesan and a pinch of minced fresh herbs. Serve immediately. Makes four servings.

Ha! Well, now that I look at this post, I don’t think I followed this recipe as much as I thought!

For a printer friendly option, go visit Brooklyn Supper’s blog and search Mushroom Bolognese!