The Mushroom Council’s Blend the Rules competition challenged K-12 foodservice staff and students to come up with creative ways to reduce the amount of meat and increase the plant-based component in entrees that kids will love. Here’s the winner.
Yield: 75 portions
½ cup canola oil
2 qts. + 2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced ½” or rough chopped
1 cup olives
3 large red tomatoes, ripe, peeled and quartered
2 cups onion, peeled and quartered
2 cups red bell peppers, coarsely chopped
½ cup balsamic vinegar
10 lbs. ground beef, 80/20
1 (#10) can low-sodium diced tomatoes
1 qt. + 2 cups canned tomato sauce, no salt added
2 ½ Tbsps. basil leaves, fresh
3 Tbsps. Italian seasoning
1 ½ Tbsps. salt
4 lbs. + 10 oz. spaghetti, whole grain
2 lbs. Parmesan cheese, grated
1. Toss mushrooms with oil. Place mushrooms and olives on sheet pan and roast for 1 hour at 400°F. Ovens vary so watch carefully.
2. Combine onions, tomatoes and red peppers in hotel pan that’s been sprayed with nonstick spray.
3. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and roast in 400°F oven for about 45 minutes until vegetables start to char.
4. Brown ground beef in steam kettle. Once browned, drain fat.
5. Add all roasted vegetables to steam kettle. Add diced tomatoes and sauce and mix well. Add herbs and seasonings.
6. Blend sauce using immersion blender until vegetables are almost pureed and ground beef is about half the size.
7. Cook pasta until al dente.
8. Combine 1.25 gallons sauce with 1.25 gallons cooked pasta per pan and mix well.
9. Sprinkle evenly with 1 lb. grated Parmesan cheese and place covered in warmer until service. This recipe will provide 40 servings per pan. Serving size is ½ cup or #8 scoop. Hold at 140°F or higher.
Photo and recipe: Bethel School District/The Mushroom Council