Introduction: Vegan Bolognese Sauce
This scrumptuous sauce is a vegan take on the classic bolognese recipe. I dare you to try it and not fall in love with its hearty, smokey flavor! The addition of smoked tempeh replaces the texture of hamburger and the flavor of the pancetta or bacon, while roasted eggplant adds a deep richness.
Bolognese sauce is traditionally a meat- and pork- based sauce. I had a desire to lighten up this dish by making it all vegetarian. In fact, it's easy enough to make vegan - thereby creating delicious, stick-to-your-ribs sauce that is actually good for you!
Let's compare amounts per serving*:
Traditional Bolognese: 472 calories 19.7 grams of fat
Vegan Bolognese: 158 calories 7.8 grams of fat
Only two tablespoons of oil are added to a medley of fresh herbs, vegetables, and tempeh (opt). Allowing this ragu to simmer for two hours creates deeply complex and robust flavor.
For a gluten-free option, omit the tempeh and use wheat free pasta!
* according to recipe calculator
Step 1: Ingredients
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 package smoked tempeh or tofu (opt.) chopped
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 1 pound eggplant roasted or salted and drained, chopped
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1/2 cup stewed tomatoes (can substitute for canned)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
- few shavings of fresh nutmeg (opt)
Step 2: Prep Ingredients
Chop up your ingredients so they're all ready to go in.
Plan on an hour to prepare your eggplant, whether you roast it or not. I prefer the rich, smokey flavor of roasted eggplant. To achieve this, I split the eggplant in half, scored down the middle of the flesh on each half, and roasted on an oiled baking sheet, flesh side down, for 20 minutes at 400F (200C).
Step 3: Sautee Veg
Saute onions, garlic, carrot, and celery in oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, until softened - 5 to 7 minutes.
Step 4: Add Tempeh
Add smoked tempeh and cook over medium high heat, stirring for about 6 minutes. If you've chosen not to roast your eggplant, add it along with the tempeh.
Step 5: Add Wine
Stir in wine and allow to simmer until the liquid evaporates.
Step 6: Add Remaining Ingredients
Stir in eggplant (if you haven't yet), tomatoes, tomato paste, water, fresh thyme and a shaving of nutmeg, and gently simmer, covered, until sauce is thickened, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Add salt and pepper and remove from heat.
Step 7: Add Pasta
Cook up your pasta to just before al dente.
Stir it into the sauce and simmer to finish cooking.
This is one of those dishes that's even better the second day!
What's great is that you can make up a huge batch and freeze it for a month (without the added pasta).
Finally, you can "eat spaghetti bolognese without feeling bad about it for days and days and days. . . "
(admittedly the inspiration to this recipe)
Now go tell Lily Allen!