Pasta Bolognese has some nostalgic value for me. When I was in highschool, if I wanted to take my girlfriend out to dinner, it was spaghetti bolognese at a Rotterdam institution, a student café/restaurant, De Pijp (the Pipe). A small restaurant on a side street, that was for students, and you always needed to be introduced by one of the members, the general public was not welcome.
So when Dr. Anna Borek (@ScepticalDoctor on Twitter), posted this recipe, I had to make it... and of course you can vary this endlessly, but the core concepts are simple and powerful.
The recipe has been tested by a neighbor and myself, as well as by Fr. David at St. Helena's and Rosemarie Ortiz, the church secretary. Everybody liked it!
Tofu Bolognese Sauce
from Anna Borek, The Sceptical Doctor
2 blocks of firm tofu
1 cup of cut-up celery stalks
1 cup of cut-up red onions
1/2 cup of water
3 cloves of garlic (or more, depending on your religion)
1 cup of cut-up carrots
2 cups of sliced mushrooms
a pinch of salt (or, alternatively use water with 1 tsp yondu)
2x 15 Oz or 1 25 Oz can of tomatoes
2 heaped tbsp of tomato paste.
1 cup of wine
2.5 cups of cooked red lentils (1 cup dry)
1 bunch chopped spinach
3 tbsp of Italian seasoning
1 cup of water
vegan parmesan to taste
- cut up the tofu into small cubes, and bake until evenly browned.
- Precook the lentils - 3 mins of high pressure in the Instant Pot will do.
- stir fry the celery and red onions in water in the sauce pan
- add the garlic, diced carrots and cut-up mushrooms and lest it simmer for 10 minutes
- add tomatoes, tomato paste and wine, as well as lentils, spinach and italian seasoning, as well as the baked tofu
- simmer for 1-2 hours
for good measure, I am adding a recipe for vegan parmesan.
1 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
In the blender until it is a fine powder.
I happily made the sauce with 1 bloc of Tofu and 4 cups of mushrooms (I used Baby Bella), because that is what I had around. I also threw in towards the end a box of grape tomatoes, careful not to cook them to the point of bursting. They enhance the fresh tomato taste.