Vegan Bolognese Pasta, packed with all the right nutrients. Creamy with melting lentils and tomatoes, crunchy with great veggies. Rich with spices and aromas and mostly, healthy, easy and cheap family dish!
VEGAN BOLOGNESE – THE MOST OFTEN COOKED DISH
Vegan Bolognese is something I cook every week yet somehow it has never gotten
Then I thought, well, „everyday stuff“ is something people really want to cook, right? So I sat down to finally write this post.
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR PROTEIN?!
And there is really not much to it, either to the recipe nor things that you should be aware of while cooking. The story of Vegan Bolognese is really simple: dice some its veggies and cook them shortly, add some cooked lentils and enough tomato sauce to make it just as creamy as you like, sprinkle with spices to your taste and there you go! Ready to be poured over some pasta!
This Vegan Bolognese Pasta really has it all, packed with all important nutrients you’d want it to have and to keep you healthy and your belly full. Veggies for vitamins, minerals and fibres, lentils for a good measure of protein. Therefore no non vegan can really ask you „the question“ vegans get asked – „Where do you get your protein?!“ Or rather, they can. And you can invite them for a nice pasta bowl too!
RICH & SIMPLE & VERSATILE ALL YEAR ROUND DISH
Add to being really simple to make, this Vegan Bolognese Pasta is a real treasure to make in advance. I always make a huge batch both of the Bolognese and the pasta. It holds in the fridge pretty well for a few days (OK, it gets eaten sooner, but still) and it’s my husband’s favourite lunch box material.
Secondly, it’s so versatile and easy to adjust to whatever veggies/spices/pasta you have and like. I usualy start with a little onion (which can really be omitted), some julienned carrots and celery root and then follow with zucchini or eggplant or whatever I fancy. And when it’s all nicely cooked, I throw in a nice batch of precooked lentils and tomato sauce or pelats. And there you go.
DOES IT TASTE LIKE MEAT?
Zucchinis are now in its prime time so I used them. There can be a time when they are expensive so I just use whatever I have and it still turns out great. Same goes for the amount of spices, especially garlic which I adore and put pretty much everywhere except my coffee, I guess.
And second question I get asked by non vegans: is it anything like meat Bolognese? I’ll be straightforward: no, it’s nothing like meat Bolognese. Meat is meat, these are veggies. When I remember the taste of meat Bolognese from before my green days, I’m pretty darn sure that this veggie one really doesn’t taste like its meat counterpart. Because it contains meat. Minced meat has different texture and taste and pretty much everything. And when it comes to this exact dish, I personally wouldn’t call it Bolognese at all. But I did so people would know what to, kind of, expect. Because it looks kind of like it? A red sauce on pasta? Bolognese-ish, I guess.
So no, it doesn’t taste like meat Bolognese.
This Vegan Zuchini Bolognese Pasta tastes even better, if you ask me.
It’s creamy, with all the beautiful red lentils that are on the verge of being overcooked and melting in your mouth with silky tomato sauce. Veggies, on the other side, are slightly undercooked so you get a nice and slight crunch of carrots. And all the beautiful garlic and spices to go around your pot of bliss! I always throw a good measure of dry basil or marjoram. Or Provansal herbs. To stay true to my origin, a nice teaspoon or two of red paprika from my homeland. Dash of sugar to calm the tomatoes from being to zingy. Rather go into sweetened ease and creaminess around the veggies.
So what do you think – are you cooking it soon? Let me know if you do, I would love to hear your Bolognese ideas!
Vegan Zucchini Bolognese Pasta
1 little onion, finely sliced (optional)
3 – 4 medium sized carrots, julienned
parsley root, celery root, parsnip…, julienned, ca. 1 ½ cup julienned
1 ½ cup red lentils, washed thoroughly, drained
1 litre/4 cups tomato sauce or canned tomatoes
salt, pepper, garlic, sugar, dried basil or Provansal herbs or dried marjoram
2 tsp red paprika, smoked if you like
500g/ 1 lb pasta of your choice
some oil, water
Cook the pasta by the instructions on the package. Drain, sprinkle some oil on it, toss, cover and set aside. On some oil and medium to low heat cook onion, carrots and other root vegetables, stirring all the time. Cook for 5 mins so they let their nice colour and scent. Cover with some water, cover the lid and cook until soft. Zucchinis don’t need as much cooking time as carrots so throw them in after 8 – 10 mins. In the meantime, cook lentils in plenty of boiling water for 15 – 20 mins or until it’s soft. Drain thoroughly and throw in the pot with carrots and onions. Add tomatoes and spices, stir to combine nicely and cook a few more mins so the tastes blend. Check the seasonings to your liking, pour over the pasta, grab a fork and enjoy!
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