Blend + Extend Campaign [SPONSORED]


I’ve been working with Mushrooms Canada for a few years now, and every time they approach me with a new campaign, I’m always inspired to get in the kitchen.

Anytime we can save a few dollars in the kitchen I’m thrilled. I love stretching food as far as I can for meals during the week – epseically for lunches (Allan works in landscaping and needs a BIG lunch that fills him up and keeps him going all day). The Blend and Extend campaign stretches your budget by blending ground beef with your mushrooms or vice versa. The first recipe I shared was a Beef and Mushroom Tortiere that stretched out beef budget by doing a 50/50 mix with cremini mushrooms. The beefiness of the mushrooms makes it an easy swap-out that hardly makes a difference in taste, but bumps up nutrition and we really enjoyed the textural change as well. The recipe I’m sharing today is based on my favourite bolognese recipe. It takes a bit of time to come together, but once it does you’ll fall in love with it’s big, rich flavour. It makes a wonderful weekend supper and I tend to make it when I have a day off and can spend some time cleaning, drinking wine and stirring the pot until it’s perfect. And boy, does it make good leftovers. Something magical happens with it sits and soaks in all the flavours overnight. Take it for your lunches, eat it for dinner for the week or freeze half the sauce for a perfect last-minute dinner.

Feel free to play with the mushroom to beef ratio to suit your taste  


Beef and Mushroom Bolognese Fettucini
serves 6-8

2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
2 large carrots, peeled and rough chopped
2 celery stalks, cleaned and rough chopped
1 large onion, rough chopped
2 large cloves garlic
1 lbs cremini mushrooms, rough chopped
1 1/2lbs lean ground beef
1 (156mL) can tomato paste
2 cups red wine or beef stock
4 sprigs thyme
500g fettuccini/linguinie/bucatini
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
basil or parsley, to garnish
red pepper flakes, to garnish

Place the carrots, celery, onion and garlic in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.

Heat olive oil in a large sauce pot/dutch oven over med-high heat. Add the vegetables puree and cook, stirring every so often, until the liquids have reduced and the veggies are starting to brown and dry out. Add in the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquids from the mushrooms has been released and reduced, about 10-15 minutes. Add in the beef and a few generous pinches of salt. Cook until the beef is cooked through and everything is golden brown and fragrant, another 10-15 minutes. Add in the tomato paste and cook until it’s turned a deep brick red, 5 minutes. Pour in the wine and stir, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Bring to a gentle simmer until wine is almost reduced completely. Taste for salt and add a few more pinches if necessary. Add in just enough water to cover the meat/mushrooms by 1/2″ and bring back to a steady simmer. Cook until that water has reduced back down to the sauce line and then add the same amount of water back and let reduce again until sauce is thick and rich. The addition and reduction of the water (x2) should take about 20-30 minutes total. Really let it cook down and reduce each time.

While the sauce cooks, bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil and cook the pasta to al dente according to package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the starchy pasta cooking water.

Strain the pasta and dump into the sauce. Toss with a few tbsp of the reserved pasta water and Parmesan until the sauce is evenly distributed. Add more water if it gets too tight.

Divide among bowls and serve with fresh ground pepper, minced parsley or basil and some red pepper flakes.


Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post put on by Mushrooms Canada and Ontario Beef. I was compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend restaurants or products I use/enjoy personally and believe will be good for my readers.