When I hear spaghetti bolognese, I immediately think of meatballs, bacon and all the meaty things. I really do love bolognese and I do love me a vegetarian dish. So, tweaking my traditional bolognese for a vegetarian option was a great idea.

When I need to substitute meat in a traditionally meaty dish, mushrooms are the first thing that comes to mind. They are an excellent source of protein, they have a distinct and delicious flavor.

In this spaghetti bolognese, I use mushrooms as the main filling. I like portabella or white mushrooms, but I’ve also tried making this with summer porcinis we once handpicked in the woods and even with delicious chanterelles.

For this recipe, I’m using dried porcini mushrooms my friend brought to me from Europe. I think they are pretty hard to come by around here, so practically any mushrooms will do.

Like with any pasta, it’s really important to cook the pasta itself strictly according to the instructions on the back of the box. I prefer cooking pasta al dente, so that when it absorbs moisture from the sauce, it doesn’t become too soft and mushy.

Other than that, the instructions are pretty simple, just follow these easy steps below. If you’re looking for a vegan option of this dish, make sure your spaghetti doesn’t contain any eggs. Enjoy!