Vegetarian Mushroom Bolognese Sauce

January 11, 2012 at 1:45 am Leave a comment

Well I finally did it. I went and accidentally cut off the tip of my thumb.

My mom accidentally cut off the tip of one of her fingers when I was a child, and both of my brothers have at one time cut off the tip of one of their fingers, so I knew it was only a matter of time before I too cut off the tip of my finger.

The circumstances are a bit ironic, however. I’ve been doing most of the cooking around my parents’ house, and I was complaining to my mom about how dull her knives were. It was actually making my wrist hurt whenever I had to dice a lot of vegetables. I just knew the knife was going to slip from dullness and I was going to accidentally cut myself.

Now, my mom didn’t have a knife sharpener, but recently while we were shopping, she found an electric knife sharpener on sale and bought it. She then sharpened all of her knives, much to my joy (there are few things worse than preparing a meal with dull knives).

Naturally, I forgot they were newly sharpened, and the next day, I cut my thumb with a paring knife. Yes, a paring knife. I learned my lesson (or so I thought), and reminded myself to remember the knives new sharpness.

The next day as I was preparing super, I was dicing an onion, and somehow (I’m still not sure how) the knife went straight into the side of the tip of my thumb (the same thumb I cut the day before), nearly cutting off the tip.

When I showed my parents and husband what I’d done, my parents both sighed in exasperation and sympathized, whereas my husband pleaded with me to be more careful when I cook (as he usually does when I hurt myself in the kitchen). I texted both of my brothers about the incident, and where one brother laughed and told me, “how cool it is to see a non-life threatening injury bleed so much,” the other brother wanted to see a picture of my thumb.

Ah, family.

Now that my thumb is all bandaged up and healing, I really have learned my lesson to be more careful with the knives. Especially when dicing onions. Or any vegetable for that matter.

Protect your thumbs. You’ll never know how useful they are until they’re bandaged up and you can’t get them wet, because it’ll mess up the bandages. Amen.

Here’s the dish I was making when I cut my thumb: Vegetarian mushroom bolognese sauce with linguine and tossed salad.

It came out better than I’d expected, and even my dad, who hates mushrooms, loved it! The chopped mushrooms give it a similar texture to bolognese sauce with ground meat in it, and the onion, carrot, and celery, give it great flavor.


To begin, and a diced onion, carrot, and two diced celery stalks to a large pot and saute slowly for about 8 – 10 minutes in some olive oil.


Once the vegetables have softened, add three cloves minced garlic and saute for one minute more.


Add 3/4 cup red wine and about 5 – 6 cups chopped mushrooms, and raise the heat to high. When the wine starts to boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and simmer for about 5 minutes. Try using different kinds of mushrooms. The different flavors will add more depth to the sauce.

Add two cans of crushed tomatoes, 1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth, two tsp. of sugar, two bay leaves, two tsp. dried oregano, one tsp. dried thyme, and one tsp. dried basil. Mix well and simmer for 30 minutes to an hour, or until the sauce is the thickness you want.


Season with salt and pepper to taste, remove the bay leaves, and serve with linguine or fettuccine.


Vegetarian Mushroom Bolognese Sauce

(serves 4 – 5)

  • Fettuccine (or pasta or your choice) for 4 – 5 people
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 c. red wine
  • 5 – 6 c. chopped mushrooms (any mix)
  • 2 (14 oz.) cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 c. vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. ground thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions and set aside.
  2. In a large pot, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery, and saute slowly until vegetables tender, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and saute another 1 minute.
  4. Add wine and mushrooms, and turn up heat until boiling. Lower heat to a simmer, and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add tomatoes, broth, sugar, bay leaves, oregano, thyme, and basil, and mix well. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes to an hour, or until sauce is the desired thickness.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste, remove bay leaves, and serve with the cooked pasta.

Recipe adapted from The Italian Dish.




Entry filed under: Italian food, Pasta, Recipes, Vegetarian. Tags: , , , , , .

Menu Plan Monday for January 9 – 13 Italian Sausage, Kale, and Potato Soup (Zuppa Toscana)

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About Me

My name is Rachel. I'm a small-town girl born and raised in Oklahoma, currently living in Japan, who likes cooking, baking, reading, working out, and traveling. Join me in my culinary adventures, my domestic doings, and the story of my life, one day at a time.

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