I love a hearty Bolognese sauce and the mushrooms give the same feeling but are much lighter. This is great as leftovers!
Technique tip: If you don't have a food processor, use a knife to mince the mushrooms as finely as possible.
Swap option: To make this dish vegan, use an unsweetened milk alternative. I've found that cashew milk is nice and creamy.
In a food processor, combine the carrot and all the mushrooms. Pulse until the mixture has the consistency of ground meat.2.
Heat the oil in a large deep skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes, until the garlic is tender. Stir in the mushroom mixture.3.
Increase the heat to medium-high and cook until the mushrooms begin to have some color and have released their water, 8-10 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, salt, and pepper. Add the red wine and cream, if using. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 30 minutes.4.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season aggressively with salt. Add the rigatoni and cook until al dente, about 2 minutes less than the package directions. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water.5.
Stir the rigatoni into the mushroom sauce. Add about half of the pasta water, more if it seems dry. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese. Serve immediately.