“Joyful food columnist. Disastrous home cook.”
This doesn’t sound like your typical food writer but it’s the Twitter description of Kellie Hynes, a columnist for Sauce Magazine. Her stories of adventure and misadventure in the kitchen leave me hungry for more. As I read her column, I take a seat as a ‘fly on the wall’ to watch and learn how somewhat magical dishes emerge from her kitchen. This Slow Cooker Mushroom Bolognese is inspired by that kitchen.
I want to try out every one of Kellie’s recipes – and it’s saying a lot; because everything Kellie cooks is vegan. Yup, vegan.
On the other hand, I grew up on a cattle ranch in Montana. Bacon, cheese and eggs are always in my fridge.
When I saw her recipe for Pappardelle with Bolognese, I knew I had to immediately start up my slow cooker. Now, her version was not of the slow cooker variety but I didn’t have the time or patience for the stove work. In all this snow…there was sledding to be done, after all.
Oh, man…after 4 hours in the slow cooker, when I lifted the lid, I seriously did a double-take. I could’ve sworn there was meat in that crock. It was amazing how the mushrooms had morphed into a thick, even meaty-looking sauce. The taste was soooo rich and savory – and the hearty ‘gravy’ just clung to every strand of thick pasta.
Once again, my vegan friend (I can call her a pal – as I recently met her at a St. Louis blogger event) and “disastrous home cook” created a bit more magic in her kitchen. And thanks to her inspiration, my slow cooker did too.Print
Slow Cooker Mushroom Bolognese
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large carrot, finely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped OR 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/4 cup dry red wine
- 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 1 package (14-16 oz) white button mushrooms, pulsed 15 times in food processor until coarsely chopped, but not pureed
- Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, carrots, celery and onions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook about 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste, rosemary, nutmeg, and crushed pepper: continue cooking until the vegetables have softened and started to brown, about 2 minutes. Deglaze with the wine and balsamic vinegar, pulling up any bits from the bottom of the pan while stirring with wooden spoon.
- Carefully transfer to the slow cooker. Stir in tomatoes and sugar. Stir the mushrooms into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 4 to 6 hours or on low 8 to 10 hours.
- Serve over pasta.
Have you ever made the classic meat-filled Italian slow-cooked sauce?