Veggie Bolognese is a great recipe to have up your sleeve. It takes a little bit of time to make, and by little bit I mean about an hour and a half. However, the results are worth it. It’s a great meal that is sure to please everyone. If you have company coming over and you don’t want to serve a traditional meat bolognese. Or you have a teen that may be exploring other dietary options such as eating vegetarian or vegan. It could be your brother in law or best friend, this is veggie bolognese will satisfy everyone. This was actually the recipe that opened the door to eating more meatless meals for us. Matt was always against cutting down on meat and this was a recipe I showed him that he loved. So if you’re trying to eat more plant based this is a great place to start.
To keeping with being completely transparent and because we aren’t terrible people. This is not an original recipe. We found this recipe in the cookbook Fraiche Food Full Hearts by Jillian Harris and Tori Wesszer. I have mentioned this cookbook in the past when we made their French Onion Soup with Parmesan Croutons. The majority of this cookbook is plant based and they often give the option to make it gluten free. Just be warned that not all recipe transfer to gluten free, especially when baking. But my plan is for us to slowly cook our way through this cookbook and see how many we can make gluten free.
You may look at this recipe and want to shy away because of the mushroom base. You may have someone in your family that doesn’t like mushrooms. My advice to you is to still try this recipe and maybe not tell them there are mushrooms in it. Matt and I both like mushrooms but we are picky about them. Matt only likes them cooked and I prefer them cooked with a splash of balsamic vinegar and accompanying a perfectly cooked steak. So the fact that the base of these bolognese (along with other vegetables) made me a little worried.
But let me tell you, you can’t even taste them. They get so cooked down and flavoured with so many things, add in the onions, garlic, carrots and celery, and you can’t even taste them. All they truly do is add some oomph to the bolognese and are a great mimic to meat. They add a hearty thickness to the sauce which we have all come to love with a bolognese but you feel great about eating it, because it is all vegetables. Trust me, you keep feed this to a meat lover and they would enjoy it, Matt being a perfect example.
Jillian and Tori really knocked it out of the park with this recipe. It is jam packed with vegetables and nutrition while not sacrificing flavour. It is so delicious and flavourful, you won’t miss the tradition meat sauce. I also love that the majority of these ingredients we already keep on hand however. If you’re not familiar with an ingredient just add it in your weekly grocery shopping and then later look up more recipes that you can use it in.
Naturally Gluten Free
This veggie bolognese has all naturally gluten free ingredients just make sure that the bouillon or broth concentrate you are using is gluten free. We usually use Better than Bouillon, they do not claim to be gluten free so use it with your own discretion. The ones we usually use are their vegetable base and their beef base. The ingredients in both of these appear gluten free and I have never had a reaction to them. But again use your own discretion. Otherwise all the other ingredients are gluten free just swap out the pasta for your favourite gluten free brand. Our preferred brand is the Catelli 4 Grain Blend Gluten Free Pasta and for this recipe we used spaghetti.
Let us know if you try out this Veggie Bolognese. Also check out Fraiche Food Full Hearts, it is a great cookbook, I hope you love it as much as we do. Jillian and Tori put so much work into it and it truly shows. If you’re looking for more pasta or plant based meals check out our Penne in a Blush Basil Sauce with Bocconcini, Vegetable Gnocchi with Roasted Balsamic Tomatoes and Risotto with Roasted Tomatoes and Kale.
|Prep Time||20 minutes|
|Cook Time||60 minutes|
- 4 tbsp olive oil divided
- 2 large yellow onion finely chopped
- 1 cup Carrots peeled, finely chopped
- 1 cup celery finely chopped
- 2 tbsps butter we use vegan Becel
- 1 1/4 pounds cremini mushrooms finely chopped
- 5 cloves garlic minced or grated
- 1/2 cups red wine we use Caleta Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot
- 1 can (156mL) tomato paste
- 4 tsps beef stock concentrate we use Better Than Bouillon
- 2 cups water
- 1 can (796mL) Diced Tomatoes
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp fennel seeds finely ground
- 1 1/2 tsps red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup cashew cream recipe down below
- 500 grams gluten free spaghetti we use Catelli 4 Grain Blend Gluten Free Spaghetti
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese or vegan equivalent
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Wash and dry all of your produce. Brush any dirt off the mushrooms if you don't want to wash them.
- Finely chop, onions, carrots, celery and mushrooms. Mine or grate garlic.
- In a large pan over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Then add in your onions, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring often for 4-5 minutes or until the onions have turned translucent and soft.
- In a second large pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter (or vegan alternative) and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Then add in the finely chopped mushrooms and cook for 5-10 minutes. They will begin to soften, shrink and start to brown. Stir often.
- To the pan with the mushrooms, add the minced garlic and stir for 1 min while it cooks down. Then add in the red wine and cook until it has reduced to half. Continuously stir. Add the tomato paste, bouillon and 2 cups of water. Stirring everything together.
- Take the pan with the onions, carrots and celery and add it to the mushroom pan. Also add in diced tomatoes (with the juices), nutritional yeast, oregano, basil, and fennel*. Turn the heat down to medium-low and cook. Stir often while the mixture cooks down for 20-30 minutes. The mixture should be reduced and thick.
- Stir in red wine vinegar, season with salt and pepper. Let mixture simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in Cashew Cream (directions below).
- In a large pot add enough water to cook your pasta and salt the water. Bring to a boil. Add in the pasta and cook under al dente. With gluten free pasta it is best to cook for 1-2 minutes longer than regular pasta. When done drain the pasta.
- Divide the pasta between the plates. Pour the veggie bolognese over the pasta and top the the desired amount of parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
- Soak 1/4 cup of raw unsalted cashews in 1/2 cup boiling water for 30 minutes. Or overnight in 1/2 cup of room temperature water in a covered glass.
- Drain the water from the cashews.
- In a blender* add soaked cashews and 1/4 cup clean filtered water. Blend on high until completely combined.
- Add to Veggie Bolognese when called for.
*If your fennel is in seed form, quickly grind it into a fine powder in a blender or food processor.
*We use a ninja nutri blender, its meant for smoothies but works great for grinding the fennel seeds.