This hearty dish is perfect for eating during the winter months. This dish is based on a spaghetti Bolognese recipe I got from my mother. Excellent sauce if you prefer a vegetarian spaghetti sauce.
Total time: 45 minutes
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion (chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 2 celery stick (chopped)
- 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
- 1 jalapeÃ±o pepper (chopped)
- 2 carrots (chopped)
- 5 ripe tomatoes (chopped) or 29 ounces of diced tomatoes
- 1 cup red wine (merlot)
- 1 large eggplant (chopped into 1-inch cubes)
- Â½ pound Crimini mushrooms
- 2 leaves fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 2 sticks of thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 leaf sage or a pinch of dried sage
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce
- salt, pepper, nutmeg
- 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 pound spaghetti
- Preheat oven to 350ÂºF. Evenly spread the chopped eggplant on a greased a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for approximately 10-15 minutes.
- Fill a large pot with warm water, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and bring to a boil. We’ll use this later on to make the pasta.
- In the meantime, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large pot over medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Saute for about 3 minutes and add the celery, carrots, jalapeÃ±o, and bell pepper. Stir occasionally over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
- Add the eggplant and tomatoes to the vegetable medley followed by the wine and herbs. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. Cover and simmer over low heat.
- Rinse the mushrooms and quarter them (If the mushrooms are small enough I usually just cut them in half).
- Melt the remaining butter in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Once melted add the mushrooms and turn heat to high, stirring regularly. See cook’s notes on preparing mushrooms.
- Add the mushrooms to the spaghetti sauce, and season with hot sauce. Simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Cook the pasta following the instructions on the package (usually somewhere in the 8-10 minute range).
- Once the pasta has been drained, transfer the spaghetti sauce to a serving dish and serve with grated cheese.
- Note that when chopping hot peppers the oil from the peppers will transfer to your hands and can cause irritation when brought into contact with the eyes or skin. Be especially careful when removing contact lenses. The active ingredient in hot peppers is called capsaicin and does not dissolve easily in water. Use milk or vinegar to remove from hands.
- If you like to have a spicy spaghetti sauce, replace the jalapeÃ±o with cayenne or habaÃ±ero pepper and add 2-4 tablespoons of hot sauce.
- When cooking mushrooms you always want to cook them on high heat to avoid losing all of the moisture in the mushroom. Slowly simmered mushrooms tend to be more rubbery to eat compared to mushrooms cooked over high heat which tend to be crunchy.