Mushroom and cauliflower paccheri bolognese

April 2, 2024

Because happiness is a scrumptious bowl of hearty pasta!

The rich and flavourful combination  of ‘meaty’ mushrooms and full-bodied red wine really shines  in this tasty rendition of a  classic bolognese.


  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 150 grams shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 150 grams button mushrooms, sliced
  • 150 grams brown mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 300 grams carrots, grated
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. dried origanum 
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1½ cups red wine
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 4 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar
  • 500 grams paccheri 
  • ¼ cup basil leaves
  • ¼  cup finely grated Parmesan


1. PULSE cauliflower in a food processor until it resembles a fine ‘rice-like’ consistency. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Place sliced mushrooms in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Place in a separate bowl.

2. HEAT some of the oil in a large pot  over medium heat. Fry the onion for  5 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and fry until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add a little more  oil, the carrots and celery and fry for 5 minutes, until softened. Add a splash more oil along with the finely chopped mushrooms and fry for 1–2 minutes.  Add tomato paste, origanum and basil and cook for 2–3 minutes. Finally, add the cauliflower and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes adding the remaining oil as necessary.

3. POUR in the red wine and cook for  3 minutes, then add vegetable stock, tinned tomatoes and brown sugar. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then cover and reduce the heat. Simmer for 40 minutes.

4. COOK pasta according to package instructions. Drain, reserving ¼ cup  of the pasta water.

5. TOSS the cooked pasta with mushroom bolognese and reserved pasta water. Garnish with fresh basil and a sprinkle of Parmesan. Season generously with salt and pepper.


ALSO SEE: Mushroom and bacon pies

Mushroom and bacon pies

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