March 20, 2020
What do you do when it’s cold outside, you’re craving spaghetti “Bolognese” and you really don’t want to go to the grocery store to buy ground meat but you do have lots of vegetables? You improvise! I made this dish using what I had on hand at the time and it’s so delicious that it’s become a staple in my house. I’ve even tried making it with meat since, but I’ve found that I actually prefer this recipe better. I’ll let you be the judge.
Meatless Spaghetti Bolognese
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 large carrots finely chopped
- 2 celery stalks finely chopped
- ½ cup broccoli finely chopped
- ½ cup cauliflower finely chopped (optional or any other vegetable(s) you’d like to add)
- ½ cup spinach or kale finely chopped (optional)
- 1 x 700 ml jar of your favourite tomato-based pasta sauce (you can make your own sauce. For convenience, I find it easier to use pre-made. Personally, I love an organic arrabbiata sauce which isn’t your typical Bolognese sauce base but adds a nice spicy twist to the dish).
- 2 oz. (57 g) spaghetti pasta per person
- Seasonings and toppings optional – fresh grated Parmesan cheese, fresh basil, salt and pepper
The secret seems to be in the ‘texture’ and the best way to accomplish this is by chopping all the veggies very finely. If you have a food processor, it’ll make quick work of the veggies, but be careful not to overdo it.
- Heat oil in a large deep skillet (with a lid) or dutch oven on medium-high heat.
- Add onion and cook until translucent.
- Add garlic and sauté for 3 mins.
- Add carrots and sauté for 2-3 mins, then add celery and cook for another 3-5 mins.
- Add the remaining vegetables except the leafy greens (if you’re adding).
- Cover and reduce heat to medium-low and allow veggies to gently cook (stirring occasionally) for about 10-15 mins until softened.
- Pour in a tomato-based sauce and stir.
- Add chopped leafy greens and stir to distribute.
- Once the sauce starts to bubble, reduce heat to low and cover with lid. Continue to simmer the sauce gently while pasta is cooking, stirring occasionally
- Meanwhile, in a large pot bring water to boil and cook pasta according to instructions on packet/or recipe if fresh.
- Drain pasta and serve with sauce.
Season to taste and top with cheese and a touch of fresh basil. Enjoy!