Yesterday I made the most amazing vegan bolognese and I’ve had loads of people asking me for the recipe! Since Chris also asked me to write it down because he loved it so much, here it is. Its easy, you’ll probably have a lot of the ingredients and the method below probably just looks long because I like to write and talk crap.
Firstly though, I am not vegan, nor vego. However I have been trying to have some meat free/animal product free days over here without sacrificing taste (because I live with a carnivore). Cost is also a huge factor because I find a lot of the vegan substitutes very expensive, whereas this recipe is really just about good old wholesome cooking.
It’s a recipe by me, picking the best bits from a bunch of recipes I found here, here and here. My amounts are also all over the shop because I like to cook without really measuring things, so please bear with me! Sometimes I think I’m Jamie Oliver.
- An eggplant
- 2 carrots
- 1 onion
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 pieces of celery (apparently this is not in season as I write this in July but I found little pieces of it in ‘snack bags’ in the fresh fruit section at Woolies for $1)
- Mushrooms – say, 8 small ones?
- Red wine (around 2 cups worth and extra for drinking)
- 1 tin of diced tomatoes
- Half a cup of almond milk
- A teaspoon of cumin
- Olive oil
- Minced garlic
- 1 can of chickpeas
- Half a small container of tomato paste (about 2 teaspoons)
- Some fresh sage and oregano
- Fennel – I have a jar and crush it in the mortar and pestle
- Panko (or normal) breadcrumbs
Firstly, preheat your oven to 190c. Get your eggplant and dribble a little olive oil on it and wrap it in tin foil, pop it in the oven and forget for about 45 minutes. I actually cut a slice of it off accidentally before reading the recipe properly, but this actually helped when it came to scooping it out because it was already open.
Then, drain your chickpeas and put them in a bowl with another drizzle of olive oil, coat with breadcrumbs (sorry I just threw some in, I don’t have an exact amount), chop up some oregano and sage and add with salt, pepper, a teaspoon of garlic and a teaspoon of crushed up fennel. Fennel wasn’t in any recipe but is essential for my normal bolognese so its added here. I also added about a teaspoons worth of savoury yeast which is like what vegans use to make parmesan cheese but this isn’t essential, I just had some.
Tip all of these onto a pizza tray or similar and put in the oven. Cook them for about 10-15 minutes (I burnt my first lot so keep an eye).
Then, heat some olive oil up in a pan and start to make a ‘sofrito’. Essentially, dice your carrot, celery and onion up with a teaspoon of minced garlic and cook on low for about 15 minutes. Tip in red wine (enough to coat) and your bay leaves and keep cooking on low until the red wine has mostly evaporated. Roughly dice mushrooms and add them into this with the tomato paste, almond milk, tinned tomatoes and the cumin.
Get your eggplant out of the oven, and scoop the inside out – discard the skin. Dice up the soggy filling and add into the mixture over low heat – this combined with the mushrooms should give it more of a meaty consistency and the low heat should be helping make it less runny.
Tip in your chickpeas. Serve. We ate ours with parmesan cheese, because cheese is life, but obviously being a vegan recipe you can add a vegan cheese or some of those savoury yeast flakes.
Honestly you guys, SO GOOD. My carnivore life partner even said “Write this down babe, and add it to the once a week food menu”.
Excuse my very shit, very non “fitspo blogger” pictures I screenshot from my insta stories (which I am all over these days, so follow!).