Winter Comfort Food - Vegan Bologense

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Winter Comfort Food - Vegan Bologense
Bolognese sauce or known in Italian as ragù alla bolognese, is a meat-based sauce originating from Bologna, Italy. Typically it is most noted for being a slow roasted sauce with specialty cuts of beef or pancetta. In this recipe, we aren't going to use either.  We're going to show you a way you can use your Culinary Herb Start Kit with our Crunchy Lentil Fest to create a hardy 'cold-winter weather' dish that will bring you comfort as those temperatures start to drop! 

Ingredients: 

  • 8 oz dried spaghetti noodles (most supermarket varieties are vegan, be sure to check your labels)
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon fresh homegrown basil (sub 1 teaspoon if using dried herbs) 
  • ½ teaspoon fresh homegrown oregano (sub 1 teaspoon if using dried herbs)
  • ½ teaspoon fresh homegrown  rosemary (sub 1 teaspoon if using dried herbs)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup of our Crunchy Lentil Fest
  • ½ cup red wine (Charles Shaw, or Yellowtail are a preferred vegan red wine option for this dish!) 
  • 2 cups veggie broth
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 10-12 peeled Roma tomatoes, diced small (28oz can acceptable substitute) 
  • 1 medium Utah yellow onion, small diced
  • 2 large scarlet nantes carrots, diced (Can be found in your homegrown salad kit as well!)
  • 2 stalk celery, sliced
  • ½ cups white button or porcini mushrooms, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, plus more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon sugar (to cut acids) 
  • handful of fresh parsley, chopped for garnish

Make the Sauce:

  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat, cook the onion for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Stir in minced garlic, diced carrots, celery, and mushrooms. Then lightly season with salt, and pepper. Sauté again until fragrant, about four minutes. 
  2. Add red wine and simmer on medium until the wine is absorbed into the veggies. Season with salt and pepper again. 
  3. Add the the vegetable broth and stir in the tomato paste. Then add the diced tomatoes, your fresh basil, oregano, rosemary, crunchy lentil fest, and sugar. 
  4. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low, and simmer for 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper again once sauce is thickened.
  5. While sauce simmers, cook your pasta according to package directions, be sure to salt your water when it comes to a boil and set cooked pasta aside while the sauce finishes cooking. (Most pastas will only need 8-15 minutes to cook, so I recommend starting the pasta at the half hour mark.) 
  6. Top with chopped parsley. Other optional toppings include: a sprinkle of vegan Parmesan cheese, or some thinly sliced basil leaves!

This bologense also makes a great base for vegetarian lasagna. Make sauce as directed. Use ricotta cheese and sauce to layer in between noodles, then top with mozzarella and bake for about 30 minutes at 375 degrees uncovered until cheese is melted and gooey! 

Also don't be afraid to sub in a wheat noodle, penne pasta, or even spiraled vegetable noodles. For a spicier kick, add in a teaspoon of chili powder and a red bell pepper. This sauce will keep you warm and full all winter so feel free to experiment and use it in a variety of ways!

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  • Hailey Bernal
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