Spaghetti Bolognese is a firm family favourite in my house. I make big batches and freeze them in tupperware for lunches, and those days where I really can't be bothered to cook but still want to eat something homemade and healthy.
Yes, this dish caters for you all. How, you say? By using my Flexi Tweaks of course. The version you see in the picture is Vegan but I have some variations to make it more cheesy and meaty, if that's what you like. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the Flexi Tweaks.
I often make a plant-based as well as a meat version to satisfy all tastes in my house. You may be thinking that two different meals means twice the work. I've come up with a method that requires minimum extra effort, and two lovely dishes. The trick is to make the sauce first, divide it into two, and then add your protein. Simples.
1 tsp of Olive Oil
1 medium Onion, finely diced
2 sticks of Celery, finely diced
2 small Carrots, finely diced
2 cloves of Garlic, crushed
1 medium Red Pepper, cut into bite-sized chunks
100g dried Soya Mince, soaked in 300ml cold water for 5 minutes
2 X 400g tins of Chopped Tomatoes
200ml of cold water
2 tbsp of Balsamic Vinegar
1 tbsp Bouillon
2 tbsp of Tomato Puree
1 tbsp of Marmite (optional)
1 tbsp of Oregano
2 tbsp of Nutritional Yeast
Sea Salt, to taste
Black Pepper, to taste
Start by soaking the mince in the water and set aside while you prep the veg. If you're cooking with mince meat, start by cooking this now by following the Flexi Tweak below.
Put the oil, onions, carrots and celery into a frying pan and cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes, until they start to soften. Add the garlic and pepper to the pan and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and use 200ml of cold water to swill out the excess tomatoes from the tin.
If you're making a vegan version and a meaty version, divide the sauce into two now. Remember, you'll need half the amount of soya protein and mince meat, or double the amount of sauce. Divide the sauce by using a level ladle to spoon equal amounts into two separate saucepans, one after the other, until there is no sauce left. Now follow the instructions as described under Flexi Tweaks below.
Add the soya mince to the sauce (no need to drain the excess water as most of it should have soaked up). Add the balsamic vinegar and bouillon, and bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced and the peppers are softening.
Add the tomato puree, marmite, oregano and nutritional yeast, and give it a good stir. If the sauce is too thick, add a drop of water at a time until you get the desired consistency. If not thick enough, add more tomato puree, a table spoon at a time, and cook for a further 5 minutes until it reduces and thickens.
Do the taste test and season with sea salt and black pepper to taste. Serve with spaghetti or any pasta to have to hand, and a dusting of Nutritional Yeast.
Use 350g of Organic Minced red meat (Venison is more environmentally friendly and leaner than beef) instead of the soya mince. Fry the mince in a tsp of olive oil until completely cooked and brown. Set aside and add to the sauce at the same time as the soya mince, as described above.
Use pesto instead of the nutritional yeast in the sauce - trust me, it makes all the difference!
To serve, use grated parmesan instead of nutritional yeast.