When it comes to hearty and comforting dishes, Spaghetti Bolognese holds a special place in our hearts. Traditionally made with ground meat, this Italian classic has undergone a delightful transformation to cater to the preferences of vegetarians and vegans. Enter the Veggie Spaghetti Bolognese – a dish that retains all the rich flavors of the original while embracing the goodness of plant-based ingredients.
For the Sauce:
- 2 cups of textured vegetable protein (TVP) or plant-based ground meat substitute
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 carrots, finely diced
- 2 celery stalks, finely diced
- 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 can (28 oz) of crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup of tomato paste
- 1 cup of vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup of red wine (optional, for depth of flavor)
- 2 teaspoons of dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon of dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
For the Spaghetti:
- 12 oz of whole wheat or gluten-free spaghetti
- Salt for pasta water
- Fresh basil leaves
- Vegan Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Red pepper flakes (optional)
- Prepare the Sauce:
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.
- Add the chopped onion and sauté until translucent.
- Stir in the minced garlic, carrots, celery, and red bell pepper. Cook until the vegetables are tender.
- Add the Flavors:
- Incorporate the TVP or plant-based ground meat substitute into the pan. Sauté for a few minutes until it’s well combined with the vegetables.
- Pour in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, vegetable broth, and red wine (if using). Stir to combine.
- Season the Sauce:
- Sprinkle in the dried oregano, basil, thyme, and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper according to your taste.
- Allow the sauce to simmer over low heat for at least 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. This helps the flavors meld together beautifully.
- Cook the Spaghetti:
- In a separate pot, bring water to a boil and add a generous amount of salt.
- Add the spaghetti to the boiling water and cook until al dente according to the package instructions.
- Once cooked, drain the spaghetti and set aside.
- Combine and Serve:
- Remove the bay leaf from the sauce.
- Serve the cooked spaghetti on plates or in bowls.
- Ladle the rich and flavorful veggie Bolognese sauce over the spaghetti.
- Garnish and Enjoy:
- Finish each plate with torn fresh basil leaves and a sprinkle of vegan Parmesan cheese, if desired.
- For a touch of heat, add red pepper flakes according to your preference.
This Veggie Spaghetti Bolognese recipe is a celebration of both the classic Italian flavors and the modern shift towards plant-based eating. With its robust and hearty sauce made from textured vegetable protein and an array of aromatic vegetables, this dish doesn’t compromise on taste or satisfaction. Whether you’re a committed vegetarian, a dedicated vegan, or simply looking to diversify your meals, this recipe promises a delightful dining experience that pays homage to tradition while embracing innovation.