Pasta with Vegan Bolognese Sauce

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“This is the best sauce you have ever made,” Tom said as he was putting some of the leftover Bolognese sauce on some bread for a snack. “I think it tastes exactly like Mom’s,” I replied. And it was true. Every bite of this sauce took me right back to my mother’s meat sauce and it was a wonderful memory.

My mother made a sauce every Sunday (along with a matzoh ball soup). It was a meaty sauce with kosher ground meat all through the sauce. It was so thick, you could eat it with a fork.

The 21st was my 6-year veggieversary. It was 6 years since the day I watched “Meet Your Meat” and changed my life to be one of compassion and kindness. Since that day when I clicked “play,” meat has not passed my lips again. But as all my followers know, I loved meat and meaty food. I spend quite some time trying to recreate all my favorite foods in compassionate, vegan versions.

So I decided to celebrate by recreating my mom’s meat sauce. I’ve already made and shared her marinara sauce. I used lentils to make the “meat” of the sauce. You could also use mushrooms, Beyond Meat’s Beef-Free Crumbles or neat meat replacement -Italian mix. I added onions, peppers and all my favorite Italian spices.

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The sauce was so rich and thick that, just like Mom’s, I could eat it with a fork. It was rich and meaty from the lentils, a bit of spice from the red pepper flakes, and full of tomato-y goodness.

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I served it over pasta with fresh basil that Tom grew and Go Veggie vegan grated parmesan (which I refer to as “my crack.”) It was a wonderful way to celebrate 6 years of cruelty-free eating.

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Happy 6-year Veggieversary to me.! Whether you are celebrating something or just having a regular dinner, I hope you try and love my Pasta with Vegan Bolognese Sauce. Enjoy!

 

Pasta with Vegan Bolognese Sauce

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GF

 

1 ½ cups lentils, rinsed

3 cups water

1 Tbs. vegetable oil

1 large yellow onion, diced

2 bell peppers, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 Tbs. tomato paste

2 Tbs. vegan, gluten-free Worcestershire sauce

28 oz. diced tomatoes

1 tsp. ground fennel

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. paprika

A pinch of red pepper flakes

Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

1-lb. gluten-free pasta

Fresh basil leaves, for garnish

Vegan grated parmesan

 

Add the lentils and water to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let the lentils cook until the water is absorbed and the lentils are soft and mashable.

Drain the lentils in a colander to remove any excess water. Using a potato masher, mash the lentils until there are just a few left intact.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. While you are waiting for the water to boil, heat the oil in a large saucepan (that has a lid) over medium-high heat. Add the mashed lentils to the pan and cook them until they are browned, about 5 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to break them up and toss them around the pan.

When the lentils are browned, add the onions, peppers and garlic to the pan and toss to mix with the lentils. Cook about 5 minutes until the veggies have softened. Mix in the tomato paste and the Worcestershire sauce. Make sure all the veggies are coated and that the tomato paste smells fragrant. Add in the diced tomatoes, fennel, oregano, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Stir everything, cover the pot and let cook while you make the pasta.

When the water for the pasta is at a rolling boil, add a handful of salt to the pot. Add the pasta, stir it with tongs, and bring the water back to a boil. Cook the pasta until it is al dente. Reserve a cup of the starchy cooking water. Drain the pasta.

Add the starchy cooking water to the sauce, ¼ cup at a time, until you have the consistency you want. Bolognese sauce should be pretty thick. Stir the sauce and let it continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve the Bolognese sauce over the pasta. Garnish with torn basil leaves and vegan parmesan.

 

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The “V” Word: Say it. Eat it. Live it.

 

Pasta with Vegan Bolognese Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: sauce, pasta
Cuisine: Italian
 
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups lentils, rinsed
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 2 Tbs. vegan, gluten-free Worcestershire sauce
  • 28 oz. diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. ground fennel
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • A pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1-lb. gluten-free pasta
  • Fresh basil leaves, for garnish
  • Vegan grated parmesan
Instructions
  1. Add the lentils and water to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let the lentils cook until the water is absorbed and the lentils are soft and mashable.
  2. Drain the lentils in a colander to remove any excess water. Using a potato masher, mash the lentils until there are just a few left intact.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
  4. While you are waiting for the water to boil, heat the oil in a large saucepan (that has a lid) over medium-high heat.
  5. Add the mashed lentils to the pan and cook them until they are browned, about 5 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to break them up and toss them around the pan.
  6. When the lentils are browned, add the onions, peppers and garlic to the pan and toss to mix with the lentils. Cook about 5 minutes until the veggies have softened.
  7. Mix in the tomato paste and the Worcestershire sauce. Make sure all the veggies are coated and that the tomato paste smells fragrant.
  8. Add in the diced tomatoes, fennel, oregano, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Stir everything, cover the pot and let cook while you make the pasta.
  9. When the water for the pasta is at a rolling boil, add a handful of salt to the pot.
  10. Add the pasta, stir it with tongs, and bring the water back to a boil. Cook the pasta until it is al dente. Reserve a cup of the starchy cooking water. Drain the pasta.
  11. Add the starchy cooking water to the sauce, ¼ cup at a time, until you have the consistency you want. Bolognese sauce should be pretty thick.
  12. Stir the sauce and let it continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
  13. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  14. Serve the Bolognese sauce over the pasta.
  15. Garnish with torn basil leaves and vegan parmesan.

 

 

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One Response to Pasta with Vegan Bolognese Sauce

  1. Jacqui Pappas July 24, 2014 at 3:43 pm #

    The photo is making me soooo hungry right now. Fabulous recipe!


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