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20-Minute Vegan Bolognese

Although this meal is probably an insult to Italians and pasta tradition, this vegan twist on a classic always goes down incredibly well with anybody that tries it. It can be made super quickly, so it’s perfect for when you fancy a great, healthy meal but are short on time. The recipe is also be flexible, so you can swap ingredients in or out, depending on what you like or what you’ve got in your fridge. If you find mushrooms or celery “questionable”, just chop them up really small and even the pickiest of eaters won’t notice them (but you can always just replace them with a bit more mince). This meal is relatively seasonless too, so you can eat with the comfort that it’s a low-impact dish that is still delicious!  

Ingredients (Serves 4) 

  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 medium onion 
  • 4 cloves of garlic 
  • 1 stick of celery 
  • 1 large carrot 
  • 100g mushrooms  
  • 300g vegan mince 
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée 
  • 1 tbsp tomato ketchup 
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes 
  • 150ml strong veg stock 
  • 2 tsp sugar 
  • 2 tsp herbs of your choice (basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano or mixed work well) 
  • Salt and pepper 
  • 360g spaghetti or tagliatelle 
  • Vegan cheese to serve (optional) 

Instructions

  1. Dice all of your veg into approx. 1cm chunks and finely slice the garlic. 
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook your onion and garlic on a medium heat for a few minutes until soft. 
  1. Add the rest of your veg and cook for a further five minutes. 
  1. While these are cooking, put on your pasta according to packet instructions.  
  1. Stir your mince into the veg pan and fry off for until it has slightly browned (Don’t worry – sometimes it’s hard to tell with vegan mince but you’re all good taste- and health-wise even if it’s not done properly). 
  1. Stir in the purée and the ketchup and then add your chopped tomatoes, stock, sugar and herbs. Put the sauce on to simmer for a few minutes and let it thicken up.   
  1. Season the sauce to taste and serve on top of your pasta with some grated vegan cheese and enjoy! 

Tips: 

  • Swap in ingredients – if you’ve got some veg that needs using in the fridge, save it from the bin and just chop it up into small chunks and throw it in with the others! 
  • Use ANY vegan mince – even the cheapest own-brand supermarket mince is a sustainable food choice and tastes fab, often costing significantly less than meat.  
  • Cook with your housemates – this is pretty much a universally accepted dish, speed up the chopping and do some bonding by cooking together!  

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