Easy Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese

Serves: 
4-6

Dinner

A simple, budget and very tasty classic stand-by with the choice of either soya-based veggiemince OR whole lentils - and with everything available from a health food shop or supermarket!

(Vegan mince brands: Linda McCartney, Fry's, Vivera, The Meat Free Farm, Naturli, Meat the Alternative, Ocado, Granose and lots of supermarket own-brands. Quorn mince is not yet vegan. There are also packet Bolognese mixes if you're in a real hurry!).

PS Veggie mince is also a great basis for chilli, shepherd's pie and other such dishes! It's particularly useful if you are cooking for a mixture of veggies and meat-eaters as it has a familiar taste and texture.


Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 stick celery, finely sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 red pepper, finely diced (optional)
  • 1 medium courgette, chopped in half lengthways then sliced
  • 100g (4oz) mushrooms, chopped
  • 225g (8oz) veggie mince OR 1 tin whole cooked lentils
  • 400ml passata OR 2 tins chopped tomatoes (400g)
  • 80ml vegan red wine (optional)... check out Barnivore for a full list)
  • 1-2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1/2 tbsp vegan syrup (eg agave or maple) or 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 tsp stock powder (eg Marigold) or 2 veg stock cubes dissolved in a very small amount boiling water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional: for a richer, creamier sauce, add 1 tbsp tahini or almond or cashew butter

Method
  1. Fry the onion in the oil until soft.
  2. Add the celery, red pepper (optional), courgette and mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are golden brown.
  3. Add the garlic and fry for a further minute.
  4. If using the veggie mince option, add it now along with the tomato puree, red wine, passata, herbs, syrup and stock. Also, if using the nut or seed butter option, add now, stirring it around so it melts in. If using the lentils then add all of the ingredients mentioned (apart from the veggie mince) but leave the lentils until stage 6.
  5. Simmer for 10-15 minutes over a low heat.
  6. If using the lentil option, add them now and let them cook in for a couple of minutes, stirring well.
  7. Serve on a bed of cooked spaghetti (allow 100g dry weight per person).
  8. Optional serving suggestions: vegan Parmesan (eg Violife Prosociano, Angel Food, Follow Your Heart), chopped olives, fresh basil, fresh rocket, garlic bread, side salad.
Depending on how quick you are at prepping!

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