Let’s talk pasta Friends, more importantly let’s talk vegan Bolognese. I’m talking about meaty, greasy and satisfying vegan Bolognese. No lentils, High in Protein and flavour packed vegan Bolognese.
For the longest of time I have been avoiding making this recipe, did not want to make just another vegan Bolognese that will get lost in the noise.
However, I noticed a trend in the vegan Bolognese sauces, most of them are made with red lentils, which is a great meat substitute, but not the best for this recipe.
In my mind for a vegan Bolognese, it does not get any better than just good old Extra-Firm Tofu. Once you crumble it, brown it in the pan and season it, I promise you that this Bolognese will taste like the real deal.
How to make vegan Bolognese
Have you ever made regular Bolognese sauce? You start by browning your ground beef in a pan, cooking down your onions, celery and carrots … You add your tomatoes, your beef, your seasoning (and I’m putting an emphasis on this factor, because everyone has his/her own preferences), and let it simmer until you get a bombastic Bolognese.
Well it’s pretty much the same process, the only part you need to change is ground beef to crumbled tofu and add some mushrooms for texture.
The result will make you happy.
Even as a non-vegan, who enjoys vegan recipes regularly, as my blog demonstrates, I am a big fan of this sauce, and an even bigger fan of Tofu.
Can I put my own spin on this?
Totally, as a matter of fact, I strongly advise you to do so. Here are some of the things you can do, depending on your own preferences.
Spicy Bolognese: Throw in a chipotle smoked chilli, cayenne and just a touch of cumin and you got yourself an angry bolognese. Of course, if you are a purist, you might not be too comfortable calling it a bolognese.
Sweet Basil: Add a couple tablespoons of agave, and a whole bunch of fresh basil right at the end, and you got your self a sweet & savoury sauce.
The combinations are endless. You have fun with it.
To the recipe now.
- 1 454 g Pack of Tofu.
- 1 Cup chopped white button mushrooms.
- 1/2 cup carrot finely chopped.
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery.
- 2 Cups of crushed tomatoes.
- 2 Tbsp olive oil.
- 1 Medium Sized Onion finely chopped.
- 2 Cloves of garlic crushed and finely chopped.
- 2 Bay leaves.
- 1/4 Cup of Vegetable stock.
My choice of spices:
- 2 Tbsp Paprika.
- 1 Tsp Chili Flakes.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Start by Warming up your olive oil in a pan and brown your Tofu on medium heat. Add your Spices and remove the tofu from the pan.
- To the same pan, add onions, carrots, garlic and celery. Cook for 5 minutes and add tofu and mushrooms. Stir for 2 minutes. Add your tomatoes, veggie stock and bay leaves. Cover and let it cook on low heat of 10-12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve with some fresh pasta and enjoy.