Saturday, 27 April 2013

Spaghetti Bolognese, The Veggie Way

A couple of weeks ago, Andy ordered spaghetti bolognese in a restaurant. "You could make this, but with lots of different vegetables," he said as he was eating. "It'd be better."

I'm very fortunate to have a husband who's the biggest fan of my cooking, so I'm always keen to hear and indulge his requests. Andy isn't veggie, but he tends to think most dishes would be improved by more vegetables, so our eating habits mesh pretty well. Of course, being vegetarian, I'd never actually tasted proper spaghetti bolognese so I had to do a bit of online research into authentic recipes. The basics seem to be tomato sauce, red wine, garlic, and sometimes chilli. I love spicy dishes so mine was definitely going to be at the hot end. In place of the meat I used a mixture of lentils, carrots, mushrooms, peas, and red pepper.

This was a particularly easy sauce to cook up, to the extent that I made it in a few free moments in between stages of preparation a different meal, and then popped the sauce in the fridge until I was ready to use it. This had the added advantage of allowing the flavours to mature overnight, for a richer taste.

Vegetarian Spaghetti Bolognese

Vegetarian Spaghetti Bolognese
Serves 4

300g spaghetti

For the sauce:
500g passata or fresh tomato sauce
250ml red wine
1 tin green lentils
2 medium carrots
1 large red onion
1 red pepper
6 chestnut mushrooms
A handful of peas
1 dried chipotle chilli
4 cloves garlic (minced)
  1. Finely chop the carrots, onion, pepper, and mushrooms. Fry in a little olive oil until the carrots are softening.
  2. Add the tomato, wine, lentils, chilli, and garlic. (I scraped the seeds out of the chilli, first, but you could leave them in for an even hotter dish.)
  3. Heat the sauce gently, and simmer for 2-3 hours.
  4. Remove from the heat, cool, and leave overnight to allow the flavours to infuse. If you want to freeze the sauce, you can do so once it has cooled.
  5. When you're ready to eat your pasta, reheat the sauce while the spaghetti cooks (according to the packet instructions). 
  6. Serve with a little grated cheese.
Pasta Please is a monthly pasta challenge run by Jacqueline at Tinned Tomatoes, and is hosted this month by Shaheen at Allotment2Kitchen, where you can see more chilli pasta dishes.

Jacqueline makes veggie bolognaise by a slightly different method, using soya mince, with white wine in the sauce and without the chilli. I'm definitely going to try her recipe soon.


Jacqueline Meldrum said...

I love veggie bolognaise and like to add lots of red wine. Yours is really quite different from my version. I'll have to give it a go. My mouth is watering just looking at it.

Rachel said...

With a suitable reduction in the chilli (we're not fans!) that sounds lovely!

Jules said...

We're both ex veggies, but I always use a veggie mince base for my Bolognese (and chillis)and a similar recipe to Jacqueline's. This sounds scrummy and I am certainly going to try it soon!

Sarah said...

Yum, everything tastes better with more vegetables! Absolutely agree. One whole chipotle chilli would be too much for me, though. Sinus clearing!

sergio castaño peña said...

surely amazing, I really like how it looks like!!
keep reading xx

Elizabeth Braun said...


Your household sounds much like mine! Sometimes we've been out and Martin has said that I could have made a better job of a dish we were eating!!=) He too likes plenty of veg and finds the proportions here in Sheffield (NOT the home of healthy eating) to be too much in favour of heavy meat eating...

I make a plain tomato sauce most of the time, frying up an onion and a few cloves of garlic in rapeseed/veg oil (better Omega balance), then add a tin of tomatoes and a Kallo veg stock cube. I let it cook down for about 10 mins then add in some fresh basil just before serving. Sometimes I add in other things, such as mushrooms, peppers or even vegetarian mince. Adding kidney beans and chilli flakes makes the chilli version too. Very adaptable.=)

You're right - the flavours mingle beautifully if left overnight.=)

And how nice to see write 'definitely' correctly. It's a good thing I can't slap the writers of 'definately' on-line, as I often want to!!!=) (I know, I know...)

Maureen | Scoops of Joy said...

This looks so good! :)

Simona said...

What an interesting take on the classic Bolognese sauce.

Post a Comment

Thanks for dropping in! I'd love to hear what you have to say, and if you leave a URL, I'll be round to visit you soon. (Comment moderation is on because the spam has become overwhelming!)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...