Mushroom Bolognese with Gremolata

Mushroom Bolgonese

While I’m usually a huge fan of cooking in for Valentine’s Day, Matt and I went to one of our favorite restaurants, Posto, last Friday for a belated Valentine’s meal. We’ve been making an effort to eat out less lately, so going out these year seemed more special.

When we do go to Posto, we usually sit at the bar and share either a couple of pizzas or a pasta and a pizza. This time, one of the dishes we shared was a Ricotta and Lemon Agnolotti with Mushroom Bolognese. Um, it was heaven. We deduced that the “bolognese” was getting its meaty texture from chopped, dried mushrooms.

So this week, I set out to recreate that mushroom bolognese.

Bolognese Veggies

To make it a somewhat healthy weeknight meal, I used a heap of fresh creminis, carrots, celery, and onion in addition to the dried mushrooms. I also used a whole wheat linguine instead of a stuffed pasta. Next time, though, I would try it with either a fresh pasta or a shape like rigatoni that would stick to the sauce better.


Matt had the idea to top the mushroom bolognese with a gremolata – a mix of finely chopped fresh garlic, parsley, and lemon zest – to give it that punch of freshness we were lacking by not using the lemony agnolotti. It worked like a charm.

I hate to describe vegetarian food as “meaty,” but the combination of the fresh and dried mushrooms, red wine, tomatoes, and a touch of soy sauce was, well, meaty tasting. Now I’ll have to try to recreate those agnolotti…

Mushroom Bolognese with Gremolata

Yield: 4-6 servings

Mushroom Bolognese with Gremolata


    For the Bolognese:
  • 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup dry red wine
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, minced (or pulsed in a food processor)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, pureed (see note at the bottom)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 pound pasta (I used whole wheat linguine)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • For the Gremolata:
  • 1/2 cup parsley, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 teaspoons lemon zest (about 3 lemons worth), minced
  • 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt (I used Maldon)


  • Soak the dried mushrooms in the hot water for about 30 minutes. Strain, reserving the soaking liquid. Finely chop the dried mushrooms and set aside.
  • Heat the olive oil in a high sided skillet or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until all the vegetables are softened. Mine took almost 30 minutes, but the time will depend on the heat of your stove and the size of your veggies.
  • Turn up the heat to medium-high and add the garlic. Cook until softened and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the red wine and cook for a few minutes until almost completely evaporated.
  • Add the mushrooms and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste, stir to incorporate, and then add the pureed tomatoes, bay leaves, oregano, 1/2 cup of the reserved porcini broth, and soy sauce. Taste along the way, and add additional salt and pepper if necessary.
  • Bring the sauce to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for about 30 minutes, thinning with additional porcini broth if necessary.
  • Combine the gremolata ingredients and set aside for serving.
  • While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta until it’s just barely al dente. Add the pasta to the sauce along with a small ladle-full of pasta water. Stir to incorporate, and add additional pasta water to thin out if necessary. Add the parmesan and serve with the gremolata sprinkled on top.


Whole canned tomatoes are generally better quality than canned tomato puree, so I buy whole and then puree them myself.

To end with a shamless plug (sorry), I entered that Rigatoni with Lamb and Eggplant Ragu I made the other week to the American Lamb Board’s Romantic Recipe Challenge. I would greatly appreciate your vote!!

Have you ever tried to recreate a restaurant dish?

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