Mushroom and Aubergine Bolognese

This is the most amazing bolognese sauce.  It’s rich, tomato-ey and earthy and has a silky texture.  Have this with a glass of red wine for a perfect cozy supper.  Oh, did I forget to mention that the sauce is vegan?  I really think this fact would surprise anyone who ate it – its the perfect dish to persuade meat lovers that by eating veggie dishes they aren’t missing out on flavour

There are several tweaks here that make this dish special.  Firstly, I admit that though it does sound strange to peel an aubergine it really does work here and adds to the silkiness of this dish  Yes, the addition of walnuts is unusual but if you choose to use them does add to the layers of flavours in this sauce (though it is delicious without)  Similarly the sprinkle of cinnamon owes more to middle eastern cookery but, along with the sugar, it balances out the acidity of the tomatoes and you don’t detect it as a separate ingredient

Do simmer this for the half an hour to let the flavours mingle properly  – it makes such a difference   If the sauce is getting too thick add a little water to stop it sticking   The end result will be a rich luscious sauce  Serve with spaghetti and top with Parmesan (if you are vegan the vegan Parmesan is good) and lots of basil  Toss it altogether before serving – I didn’t in the picture purely because it looks better in the photo

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 300g chopped chestnut mushrooms
  • 1 medium aubergine, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 tbsp chopped rosemary
  • 75g walnuts, crushed with rolling pin (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (vegan if you are being strict)
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 400g tin cherry tomatoes
  • 300g tin lentils, drained
  • 1 tsp dried oregano or sage
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • large pinch ground cinnamon
  • salt and pepper

Parmesan shavings and basil to garnish (again use vegan Parmesan if being strict)


  1. Put oil, onion and carrot in a wide frying pan and place over a medium heat
  2. Allow to soften for 5 mins before adding the mushrooms, aubergines and rosemary.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 10 mins
  4. Push vegetables to one side of pan and in the newly created gap add walnuts allowing them to toast for a minute before stirring them into the mix
  5. Cook for a further 5 minutes till everything is soft and well combined
  6. Add remaining sauce ingredients and stir well
  7. Simmer for 20-30 mins so that sauce thickens and the flavour deepens.
  8. Serve with spaghetti and garnish with lots of basil and Parmesan

Mushroom and Aubergine Bolognese


  1. This looks so rich and creamy Rosie!! And I love the idea of adding crushed walnuts– love nuts in anything and would love the little bit of nuttiness added to the flavor. How’s your week going?? Busy? Staying cozy at home? I’m getting ready to head up to San Francisco to see our kids in a couple days– can’t wait! take care friend. xo

    • Lickthespoon says:

      It has been busy. Had chimneys swept today looking forward to being lucky as the Sweep shook my hand! Always think of Mary Poppins and Dick van Dyke when I think of chomey sweeps and that lovely dance on the rooftops
      How wonderful to be going to SAN Francisco and to see your kids. I wish you a wonderful time. Have a special few days xx

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