Being Italian, I have a deep love for Italian food and cooking. Unfortunately, the cheese, white flour and meat makes some Italian dishes really unhealthy. I love to create recipes that don't lack flavor or authenticity, but add way more nutritional benefits. So here we have Bolognese! It's one of my favorite recipes and everytime I make it for someone they LOVE it and ask for the recipe so I thought I'd share it with you! Even meat-eaters don't miss the meat or dairy and claim that this has way more flavor! This recipe is made the authentic Italian way, simple, with a secret that you'll get to at the bottom of the recipe. This way has so many more nutritional benefits ( including b vitamins ) than meat Bolognese, with just as much protien! Plus it is so easy to whip up!
Try it and see!
What you'll need:
*choose all organic*
- Olive oil
- Sea salt & black pepper, crushed red chili flakes (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups of organic lentils or vegan "chopped meat":
for vegan "chopped meat" you can use chopped and smashed tofu, or there are mant brands that make vegan "chopped meat'. My go to brands are:
- 15oz of marinara sauce- fresh or canned
- 2 fresh raw carrots, ground into crumbles. I use a food processor or a cheese grader to do this.
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 can of coconut cream
- 4 heaping tablespoons nutritional yeast - more if you like it cheezy
- 1 package of quinoa brown rice pasta - or 2 spiralized zucchinis (zoodles)
First, sauté fresh, smashed and chopped garlic into a pot with olive oil, crushed red chili flakes and sea salt on low med heat.
When the garlic turns very light brown add the chopped carrots into the pot and sauté the carrots with the garlic until it's caramelized- about 10 minutes.
Next add the cooked lentils or vegan "chopped meat". You can run the cooked lentils through the food processor to get it to chopped meat consistency, or put them in whole depending on your preference.
Cook that for about 5-7 minutes.
Then add the marinara. You can use marinara from scratch or a small 15 ounce can of tomato sauce that will work very well and it will be just as delicious. Tip: make sure you're using plain tomato sauce in a can. No spices. Nothing added.
Now add in the can of coconut cream. Use the cream part and skip the water.
(the cream will be the top half of the can)
Cover and cook on low for 20 minutes.
During that time, get your pasta ready. Cook the quinoa pasta or zoodles ( zoodles= shredded zuccini in a pan with olive oil and salt, covered for 3-5 minutes)
Once the pasta is strained, put it back in the pot it was boiled in and add a splash of olive oil to the pasta. Mix it up to avoid sticking.
Pour the sauce over the pasta or mix it all together in the pot. Top with fresh parsley or chopped basil and cashew parm. ( the recipe is available in cookbook!)
The secret to this traditional bolognese is the carrots and the simplicity. Italian cooking is all about the art of simplicity. Using carrots is how Italians have been makeing bolognese for years and it makes all of the difference.