Hello guys! Today I’m cooking an all-purpose sauce: Bolognese! It is a very versatile sauce that serves as a base for many dishes. I usually prepare a lot and freeze it in portions (in reusable containers, of course) for those busy days when you only have time to boil pasta and nothing else.
This Italian sauce is traditionally made with minced meat that we will replace with minced soya (also called texturised vegetable protein – TVP). Another important ingredient is the tomato passata: if you are reading this from Spain, don’t worry, any brand of “Tomate frito” is fine. But if you are in the UK…OMG, passatas are just so bad… I’ve tried plenty of different supermarket brands (Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury…) and they all taste like watery boiled tomatoes. The best I’ve found is Cirio® passata. I highly recommend using this brand (and if you find any other good one, please let me know). I haven’t lived the “passata dilemma” in other countries, so if you’re not sure just use any Italian brand/ recipe.
I give two main uses to this sauce: pasta dishes and filling lasagnas. Depending on how you’re gonna use it you may want a thinner or thicker sauce. It is as easy as adding more or less minced soya to the recipe. If you are going to freeze it, my advice is to always cook the thick sauce (no matter if it is for pasta) to harness the space in the freezer. You can add water and salt after defrosting if you want a thinner sauce.
And now, let’s get down to business!!
- 750g of tomato passata (I recommend Cirio® passata)
- 175g of minced soya for a thick sauce (for lasagnas)/ 90g of minced soya for a thin sauce (for pasta) (What is this ingredient?)
- 1-2 onions (200g)
- 3-4 celery sticks (80g)
- 1/2 red bell pepper (80g)
- 2 Tbsp of olive oil
- 1 Tbsp basil
- 1 Tbsp parsley
- 1 tsp thyme
- salt and pepper
- 250ml of water
- Chop the onions and sautee them in the 2 Tbsp of oil for 5-10 minutes or until they start to brown.
- Using a food processor, chop finely the celery and red bell pepper and add them to the onion. Sautee for 5 minutes.
- Add the minced soya, basil, parsley, thyme and half of the passata. Stir for a couple of minutes, so the minced soya rehydrates. Add the rest of the passata, the water and salt and pepper to taste.
- Keep it at medium heat and as soon as it starts to boil, turn off the stove. And voilà!
You can serve this sauce with pasta or use it to fill a lasagna, both doing a perfect combination with vegan parmesan. You can also freeze it in portions. If your choice is the latter, my advice is to always cook the thick sauce (no matter if it is for pasta) to harness the space in the freezer. You can add water and salt after defrosting if you want a thinner sauce.