Looking for a healthier version of your classic bolognese?
Look no further! This vegan bolognese recipe includes a lot of vegetables you, and all the picky eaters in your family, will enjoy and will include three of your 5-a-day!
A basic tomato sauce, called “sugo” in Italy, already includes a lot of vegetables, usually is prepared with carrots, onions and celery finely chopped and then the tomato is added. Another simple version only includes onions however, since vegetables shrink a lot you’ll be eating a lot of vegetables just by enjoying your pasta dish.
This vegan bolognese recipe is particularly useful for those parents who have kids that do not enjoy eating veggies, and I can assure (I tasted on a very picky eater) they won’t notice you have load up your sauce with that “green stuff”. The great thing about this tomato sauce is that the small pieces of mushroom actually give the it the consistency of meat sauce.
Adding more fiber to your diet: why should you start right now
Nowadays many people do not eat the minimum amount of fiber our body need to function properly, and if you are not used to eating vegetables and fruits it may be hard to start adding more. Fiber is crucial for our intestines, the good bacteria living in our digestive system need fiber to grow and stay healthy and, they are very specific about the type of food you provide. Certain strains of bacteria prefer specific type of fiber and you really want to feed the right bacteria if you want your immune system to function properly. That’s also the reason why you need to add as many source of fiber as possibile to your diet, fruits, vegetables, pulses and beans, nuts and seeds. The more you add the greater the variety of bacteria will thrive in your gut.
This sauce will provide fibers from a lot of vegetables making it the perfect addition to your recipe notebook.
Weekly meal prep
This vegan bolognese recipe is perfect if you have little to time to dedicate every day to cooking, it takes really no time to make and you can prepare in large batches and refrigerate or freeze. I usually make my sugo during the weekend, I prepare the amount that I can use three times during the week then store it in the fridge in an air tight container, however you could make a lot more and freeze it in ziplock bags, filled with the sauce then flattened and freezed on a board.
When frozen like that you will only have to heat a frying pan and put the sugo slab on it, in less than 5 minutes it will be done and ready to enjoy.
This sauce can be used to make risotto, pasta, soups of any kind. You could even add stock to it and some pasta to make a delicious tomato soup.
Tips and tricks to making vegan bolognese
- You can make this sauce into a pressure cooker or instant pot. Put all the ingredients and cook for 20 minutes as soon as it start to whistle.
- You could use a slow cooker to make the sugo, it will be even better, since the lower temperature will retain many vitamins in the vegetabls
- You could add more fiber by adding 40/50gr of lentils (red lentils are best)
- Don’t have all the veggies in the recipe? use what you have on hand, it will turn out delicious anyway
- Use the best tomato passata you can get, if you have home made it’s the best!
Ingredients for 6/8 servings
- 800gr of canned tomatoes puree
- 2 carrots
- 2 celery stalk
- 1 large onion
- 100gr of mushrooms of your choice (button mushroom are best)
- 2 zucchini
- 400ml of water
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- hot pepper to taste
Using a food processor mince very finely all the vegetables (or you can do it by hand)
Heat a sauce pan, add the oil then add the chopped vegetable (add the hot spice at this stage if you use it), stir and cook for one minute then add a glass of red wine (you can also use white if you don’t have red) and let it evaporate.
Add the tomato puree and mix well, then add the salt and pepper and let it cook for 45min to an hour on a very low flame. Stir from time to time and check the sauce.
The sauce is ready for pasta, pizza or every other recipes that calls for a tomato sauce.