I can honestly say that I love a good bolognese. So when I saw this recipe for one without any meat I was certainly skeptical. How does one take a recipe that is by nature fatty with meat drippings and cream and make it both vegetarian and healthy? In a side-by-side, there is no comparison. They are simply two different beasts. But to take this dish for what it is, it’s great in its own right.

I would suggest making it ahead a day or two and allow it to sit around in the fridge and meld flavors.


1 cup dry red wine
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound), peeled and chopped
12 ounces button or cremini mushrooms, chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
3 tablespoons no-salt-added tomato paste
1 (28-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable (or chicken) broth
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup non-fat milk (or soy or almond milk)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, divided
1 pound pasta


  • Bring red wine to a simmer in a large pot over medium heat. You should probably be prepared to serve the rest of that bottle with dinner 😉

  • Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic and cook , stirring frequently, until onion is translucent and very tender and most of the wine has evaporated, about 10 minutes.
  • Add eggplant, mushrooms and rosemary and cook until vegetables are tender, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Stir in tomato paste and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Add tomatoes, broth and pepper and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally.

  • Remove from the heat and stir in milk and 2 tablespoons chopped basil.
  • Cook up some pasta…
  • …and steam up something green…
  • …and enjoy a very tasty dinner.

This recipe yielded two dinner plates, two good lunches, and a full quart to store in the freezer. It was fantastic with some grated fresh Parm too.