A staple in most Italian homes, bolognese sauce is hardly ever vegetarian, but it’s so easy to take out the meat and make it that way. I was recently asked if I had a recipe for vegan bolognese and I realized I’ve never posted it! So here is my recipe adapted from my tomato sauce recipe, which is adapted from my Grandmother and Mothers. You may notice that there is no celery in this recipe. You are welcome to add it, I just don’t love cooked celery. That’s the great thing about a recipe like this, you can tailor it to whatever vegetables you like or dislike. I hope you enjoy!
This dish is vegan, but it’s so filling, it’s perfect to serve to anyone!
Serves 6-8 or 4 very hungry people : )
What you’ll need:
1 onion, diced
56oz. (2 large cans) of whole tomatoes (I prefer san marzano if you can find them) If you have a garden full of tomatoes, definitely use fresh! You’ll need about 3.5 pounds. Stew them before you add them in the recipe.
6oz (1 can) of tomato paste
a pinch of sugar
a dash of wine (optional)
1 carrot, sliced
15 mushrooms (1 package), sliced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 medium zucchini sliced and halved
1 pint of small grape tomatoes, halved
a large handful or two of spinach (or any green), sliced
6-8 cloves of garlic, sliced
a tiny dusting of cayenne pepper (optional)
fresh basil leaves, sliced
What you’ll do:
First you have to make the base sauce. In a large pot pour 1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil in to cover the bottom. Heat on medium and add in the onions and a big pinch of salt. Saute for about 2 minutes. Add in the canned tomatoes, paste, sugar, half of the garlic and wine (opt.). Stir and cover on medium low to low heat (you want a gentle simmer) for about 30 minutes. Stirring occasionally. NOTE: if your sauce becomes too thick at any point, add in a little water.
Now to add the vegetables. You are going to add in the order that takes longest to cook to shortest. So first in the sauce is the carrot. Let cook as you chop the other vegetables. NOTE: the key to a good bolognese sauce is not to overcook the vegetables! Mushy vegetables never taste good! You’ll want to add in the vegetables about 20-30 minutes before you serve it. Next add in the mushrooms and bell pepper. Then the zucchini. And about 5 minutes to service, add in the fresh tomatoes, rest of the garlic, spinach, a dusting of cayenne and stir. Taste and adjust seasoning to your taste.
Serve over linguini or whatever pasta you like. Gluten free? It’s just as good served over quinoa.
Tools I Used:
My favorite Le Crueset Pot
the Wusthof knife (best knife in the world for cutting anything!)