Spaghetti Bolognese (Vegan style!)

By Sarah O’Brien

Is there anything better than spaghetti bolognese-I think not! Deliciously rich tomato sauce is the key to emulating this famous Italian dish, and if you can cut the added sugar by making your own, well why wouldn’t you?

Spagbol, as it shall hereunder be affectionately called, is one of the first recipes I ever mastered in the kitchen. Now I’m by no means a chef, but I like to experiment with food by putting my own twist on classic dishes.

I’m definitely a bit of a dash of this, pinch of that kinda gal and can never quite stick to the recipe *we’re peas in a pod mom*. But that’s exactly why I love spagbol and all its wonderful variations, it always tastes good no matter what combination of veggies you use.

Another great thing about this dish is that you get to use up all those lone survivors lurking in the back of your fridge. Waste not want not after all. I see you pepper, I see you girl (I’ve definitely been watching too much Jeffrey Star!).

Now I know that spagbol is usually made with ground meat, but this is a vegan recipe so I’m going to show you how to substitute that component without losing all the wonderful flavour. This dish is nutritious, low in calories and is perfect for everyone, even those on a shoestring budget. Let’s get started!

Vegan bologense.png

This is what you’ll need: 1 green bell pepper, 1 yellow bell pepper, 6 medium tomatoes (3 for the sauce), 10 cloves of garlic, 1 large onion, 180g of adzuki beans, 60g of spinach, 100g of dry semolina spaghetti, basil, oregano, pepper to taste, 1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil, a blender.

Step 1: Wash and prepare all your vegetables, cutting the bell peppers and tomatoes into large chunks. Finely chop the cloves of garlic and onion.

Step 2: Turn your hob onto a low heat and pour the extra virgin olive oil into your pan. Once the oil has heated toss in half of your garlic and the full onion, sautéing for 5 minutes until soft.

Step 3: Add in both bell peppers, half of the chopped tomatoes and your basil and oregano, stirring the vegetables continuously. Your hob should now be on a medium heat.

Step 5: Next we’re going to throw in our adzuki beans (these will either have soaked overnight and cooked before hand, or bought canned). At this point you can go ahead and add two cups of water to your vegetables.

Step 6: While the vegetables and legumes are cooking away, take the left over tomatoes, garlic and herbs and blend them until they’re of the desired consistency. Add in one cup of water and blend again. *For variations on this sauce you could add extra onion or a spicy pepper*

Step 7: Pour the sauce mixture on top of your vegetables and stir. I like to leave the spagbol cooking for as long as possible to get the maximum flavour so If you’ve time leave it simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 8: When it’s ready remove from the heat and toss in the roughly chopped raw spinach and stir. Serve on a bed of pasta.

Total calories: 1134.82     Serves: 2

And voilà! You have a wonderful, flavourful dish that even the Italians could be proud of. Let me know in the comments if you end up recreating this recipe or post a picture of the finished creation and tag me on instagram.

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