Whether you’re looking for something vegan friendly to solve a hangover, or want to put together a delicious dish that’s quick and easy, as well as tasty and filling, you need to make this tasty vegan mushroom bolognese.
Bolognese sauce is the most famous of the meat-based ragu that festoon Italian cookery. Traditionally made with beef, pork, chicken livers or sometimes even milk, you will quickly discover that it is not vegan. Mushrooms are very much the meatiest of the widely available vegetables and so the obvious choice when trying to veganise the recipe. You can use pretty much any mushrooms you have (from the shop, don’t just be plucking them from your garden) but for the very best results I recommend that you use denser varieties such as chestnut mushrooms or portabella.
I am acutely aware that some people are violently opposed to the use of fennel seed in any context. Whilst I can’t force anyone to use it, I would recommend that you give it a try. It is not a dominant flavour here and, side by side with a version of this sauce made without fennel seeds, you will find that the spiced version has a deeper and more rounded flavour. If you like, you can also use finely chopped carrot as well as the onions and celery. If you’re still living in the carrot age.
This recipe is pretty flexible with regard to multiplication of quantities for cooking in bulk, but the more mushrooms you use the longer you will need to cook them for in stage 2 to achieve the same effect. It also freezes very well.
A food processor will make your life a great deal easier, but is not absolutely essential.
- Prep Time:10m
- Cook Time:45m
- Total Time:55m
- Serves: 4 people
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 1 red, yellow or orange pepper, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree
- 200 millilitres water
- 401 grams tin of chopped tomatoes
- 250 grams mushrooms, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 stick celery, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- Put the olive oil in a large saucepan and place it on a medium heat. Add the fennel seeds and when they start to sizzle and pop, add the onions, garlic and celery.
- Stir well to coat the vegetables with the oil and cook on a medium to low heat until they are soft and beginning to turn golden.
- Turn the heat back up to medium and add the finely chopped mushrooms and pepper, as well as the dried oregano and smoked paprika.
- Continue to cook this mixture on medium for 5-10 minutes, until it has visibly reduced in volume and concentrated in flavour.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, water, stock cube, balsamic vinegar, salt, sugar, nutmeg, and black pepper.
- Bring the pan to a simmer and let it blip away contentedly for 20-25 minutes, or until it has reached the consistency you desire.
- Serve with the pasta of your choice.
Interested in learning more about Veganism? Why not read some of my vegan blog posts?
I’m linking up with the UK Vegan Bloggers for the Veganuary linky.