Sauces like Bolognese are a great way to sneak in healthy foods like nutritional yeast or hemp hearts. You won't notice them in the sauce, but your body will take note
I was craving something hearty and considered making a vegan chili, but I thought a good vegan Bolognese would do the trick. So I made enough to freeze for future cravings, and have eaten it both with whole wheat spaghetti and zucchini noodles. Next up will be with homemade pasta!
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 onion, finely minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup carrots, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup mushrooms, finely chopped (I used shiitake)
- 1/2 cup dry brown or red lentils
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional, if you like heat. you can add more)
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 2 cup vegetable stock (or water)
- 2 tsp chopped parsley for garnish
- Vegan Parmesan
- Pasta to serve
- Finely chop the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and mushrooms. I did these in a food processor to get them super fine, but you can also do it by hand.
- In a frying pan with high sides, heat the olive oil over medium heat, then add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery and mushroom mix. Cook until soft (approximately 15 minutes).
- Add in the tomato paste and cook for another minute until it begins to caramelize.
Pour in the white wine and deglaze the pan, getting any browned bits loose and letting the wine evaporate.
- Add the lentils, vegetable stock, basil, optional red pepper flakes, nutritional yeast, bay leaves and some salt and pepper.
- Stir to combine, cover and then cook over medium heat until lentils are cooked through—this will take about 30 minutes to an hour. You may want to add more water if the lentils need more cooking time. Test them to see how soft they are and go from there—you don’t want the sauce to be watery.
- Once the lentils are soft, remove from heat and adjust spices to taste.
- Cook the pasta you’re using until just al dente, then reserve some of the pasta water and drain.
- Add the pasta back into the warm pasta pot and scoop some of the Bolognese into it, adding some of the pasta water to finish cooking the pasta and making the Bolognese creamier. You can add vegan Parmesan here as well.
- Plate the noodles, then top with a small extra scoop of the Bolognese, and sprinkle on some chopped parsley and more vegan Parm.
Serves 4, but can easily be doubled