Best not to tell any Italians this, but I have recently decided that spaghetti bolognese is better when it's veggie. It's safe to say that most of us will have our own version of a spag bol, perhaps it was one of the first recipes on your rosta when you were learning to cook - it was certainly one of the first dishes that I perfected when I left home, but I have to say, I do remember lots of very dry-mince situations, as I let the sauce stew for a little too long. But veggie mince is full of juicy, juicy plants, so your sauce won't dry out. In Episode 11 of the How To Eat Alone Podcast, lifecoacth Emma Wilson ends our chat by musing why spaghetti bolognese is such a treat to cook by the solo chef, so I thought I'd leave you with my recipe for a veggie ragu alla bolognese for one, served with fettucine instead of linguine or spaghetti.
Makes: This makes enough for two (maybe three if you're not that hungry) meals, because who doesn't want leftover bolognese tomorrow.
Time: 40 minutes
Faff Level: Bolognese is never a faff! It is always a delight!
200 g alternative meat mince
100 g grated carrot (you can also add celery - if you’re doing this, use 50 g carrot and 50 g celery. I’m not celery’s biggest fan so I never add it in, but it is the traditional way of making a ragu alla bolognese).
Handful of Basil
1/2 can of Tinned Tomatoes
1 punnet of Baby Toms
50 ml oat milk (or almond, or milk - this stops the tomatoes from becoming too bitter/acidic)
A pinch of sugar
S&P to taste
1 small finely chopped garlic clove
Half a red onion
Big splash of Lea & Perrins (or red wine, or red wine vinegar or molho inglese)
1. Make your pasta sauce first. On a high heat, fry the onions first until browned.
2. Once browned, turn down the heat and add in the chopped garlic and fry for a few minutes, ensuring that the garlic doesn’t burn.
3. Add in mince meat, carrot and tomatoes.
4. You will notice you didn't cut the tomatoes first - not slicing the tomatoes saves you time and they seem to retain their flavour more.
5. Once the tomatoes are all soft and can be squashed easily with the back of a spoon, turn the heat down slightly and throw in the can of tomatoes, basil, sugar, Lea & Perrins (or similar) salt and pepper and simmer for 30 minutes.
6. Whilst your sauce is simmering, boil 115 g (my ideal amount of pasta for one) of linguine, spaghetti or fettucine.
7. When the pasta is cooked, drain and mix through half of the bolognese sauce. Serve with a sprig of basil and maybe some parmesan.