Cauliflower Bolognese
Yes, really! Prepare to have your taste buds fooled.
  • 12 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stems finely chopped
  • 1 head cauliflower, separated into small florets
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 hot pepper or teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped rosemary
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • salt
  • 1 lb. pasta
  • 1 cup parmesan or pecorino (grated)
  • parsley (about a quarter of cup finely chopped)
  • ½ lemon
  1. Heat a quarter cup of oil in a large pot (such as a dutch oven) over medium-high heat. 
  2. Finely chop shiitakes, including stems, and add to pot, cooking until golden brown. (About 4-6 minutes.)
  3. Add diced onion and a bit more oil if needed. Cook until onions are golden brown and soft, then add garlic, hot pepper, and rosemary. Cook until garlic is aromatic (about 3 min).
  4. Put a large pot of water on the stove over high. 
  5. Add tomato paste to veggies in pot and cook, stirring constantly, for about two minutes, then add cauliflower. Continue to stir occasionally until cauliflower begins to soften. Reduce heat to low.
  6. Add pasta to the large pot of boiling water and cook until al dente, then transfer with tongs or a slotted spoon to the vegetable sauce.
  7. Stir thoroughly and add cheese, parsley, and lemon juice. Note: you may want a bit more tomato sauce - have some handy if you're looking for something a bit heartier!

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until almost al dente, about 1 minute less than package directions.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer pasta to pot with sauce. Add 1 cup Parmesan, remaining 2 Tbsp. butter, and 1 cup pasta cooking liquid. Increase heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente and sauce is clinging to pasta, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in parsley. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt (it'll probably need another pinch or two). Finely zest lemon over pasta and toss once more.

Divide pasta among bowls. Top with more Parmesan, then drizzle with oil.