Vegan ‘Spag’ Bolognese

So back story here, my boyfriend L O V E S a spaghetti bolognese it’s his favourite meal. It’s really not my total fave but I’ll make it every now and again for him. In fact, you can find my meat version here. I’m doing veganuary this month. I’ve done it the last 2 years and it’s a great way to try new things and a great way to get my inspiration flowing. I’ve been lacking in inspiration at the moment – I think it’s because we’re still in lockdown here in the UK and it feels like I’ve been cooking all the time. I love cooking but even too much of a good thing can be too much!

Anyway this vegan bolognese was delicious! Oh my goodness, it was light and so so tasty. It had the same taste and texture of meaty bolognese but felt a lot lighter which was nice. I’d highly recommend it if you love bolognese but you’re trying to eat less meat or you’re looking for a lighter version.

A great serving technique I’m loving with pasta at the moment also is topping it with breadcrumbs as an alternative to cheese. Heat a good slug of oil in a pan and then add some breadcrumbs (panko or homemade are best rather than really fine ones) and then just keep an eye on it and keep stirring until they are golden. You could also add in some nutritional yeast to give it a bit of a ‘cheesy’ taste.

Ingredients – serves 2-3

200g chopped tomatoes

200g chestnut mushrooms, chopped into bitesize pieces

100g lentils

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 vegetable stock pot (like this) (no water necessary just the pot)

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp harissa paste

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tbsp miso paste

Spaghetti – enough for 2-3 people

Method

Cook the spaghetti to packet instructions.

Meanwhile, in a large frying pan fry the chopped onion and garlic in a little olive oil. At the same time pop 100g of the chopped mushrooms and about 1-2 tbsp of water into a small food processor and blitz into a paste. Pour into a sieve to let the juice run out.

Add all the lentils into the food processor and blitz for a few seconds to break them up into smaller pieces. Set aside.

By this point the onions and the garlic should be softened. Add the rest of the chopped mushrooms (the ones you haven’t blitzed!) and stir. Let these soften just slightly.

Add the lentils, the blitzed mushroom paste and the chopped tomatoes to the pan along with the cumin, paprika, miso paste and harissa. Stir to combine.

Add the stock pot in the centre. Let this soften and then stir gently into the sauce.

Turn the heat down to a simmer and let this keep cooking away until the pasta is cooked. Stir regularly – the sauce will get nice and thick so make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom!

Drain the pasta and serve with a good dollop of bolognese and top with some cheese/vegan cheese/breadcrumbs.

Let me know if you give this a try I’d love to hear !

Love, A x

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