Hi faith in plants friends! One of my coworkers shared an amazing vegan bolognese recipe that I’ve made twice this week already. I’ve made some adaptations (and also made my own tomato sauce) for the recipe, and wanted to share this delicious goodness with you. It did take about 50 minutes to make, so probably not the best dish if you come home starving from work–I frequently do. I don’t know what’s up with me, but I walk in the door and want food immediately. When I make myself slow down and actually cook a beautiful meal, I am so much happier with the end results. But, there’s also been many meals of avocados on toast 😉
GC said this recipe was the best pasta recipe I’ve ever made. I’m not usually one for fake meat products or even to try to replicate meat flavors, because it isn’t something I miss. I honestly get kind of grossed out if something is too meat like. Whole Foods has these vegan chicken nuggets that GC LOVES but after one of them the texture is just too much for me.
This sauce is the perfect amount of hearty flavor and texture for me. For non-tofu fans out there, don’t worry! You really can’t tell it is tofu once it’s been cooked. You have to crumble the tofu between your fingers to make the small bits you see below. Mix them up with some of the ingredients below, bake, and mix into hearty tomato sauce. YUM!
So, here’s the full recipe:
- 2 tb soy sauce
- 2 tb olive oil
- 2 tb nutritional yeast
- 1 ts smoked paprika
- 1 ts chili powder
- 1/2 ts garlic powder
- 1 block extra firm tofu
- 1 large onion
- 1/2 c cherry tomatoes
- 4-5 sliced mushrooms (optional)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tb olive oil
- 2 tb balsamic vinegar
- 1 ts salt
- 1 ts red pepper flakes
- 1 ts fennel seeds
- 1/4 c sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 3 c plain tomato sauce (I make mine from blending dried tomatoes with water)
- 1 tb maple syrup (optional)
- 1 box pasta
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- In a medium bowl, mix the soy sauce, olive oil, nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, chili powder, and garlic powder. It will form a thick paste.
- Crumble the tofu between your fingers so it breaks up evenly and mix the tofu with the paste until it is evenly coated.
- Spread the tofu mixture on a baking sheet in a thin layer. Bake at 400 for 35-40 minutes. Be sure to check it at the end so it doesn't burn.
- Dice the onion, cherry tomatoes, garlic, and mushrooms.
- In a large saucepan, sauté the vegetables with the olive oil for 2 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar in and cook until it is reduced, then add in the salt, red pepper flakes, fennel seeds, and sundried tomatoes.
- Continue to stir the mixture until the onions are translucent.
- Pour the tomato sauce over the mixture, and stir to combine. Add in the maple syrup if you are using it.
- Reduce for 20-30 minutes.
- Cook the pasta according to the directions.
- While the pasta still has ~5 minutes left, take the tofu out of the oven.
- Mix the tofu into the tomato sauce mixture and allow to absorb some of the sauce.
- Drain the pasta, and mix with your hearty bolognese sauce.