Spaghetti bolognaise is one of my favourite childhood comfort foods. It wasn’t something that our family would eat regularly so growing up, it would be a real treat for me whenever we went out to have spaghetti bolognaise!
I also owe my English language skills to this lovely dish. During my teens, I was studying English at an International College which ran classes on weeknights and on the weekend. It has a cafe that served spaghetti bolognaise amongst a list of Western dishes they had on their menu. There were times when I was tired and didn’t feel like going to class but I would go anyway as I didn’t want to miss out of having spaghetti bolognaise for lunch or dinner after class. It was a great motivator to study English!
Though this vegan bolognaise recipe is miles different to what I had then but it’s delicious just the same. It’s meaty, without having any actual meat in the ingredients, fragrant, mildly spicy and very, very comforting.
Why I love it:
This dish brings me back to my childhood. I love the aroma and the tast of fresh basil cutting through the richness of the sauce. I love the chewiness and the meatiness of the mushrooms and the walnuts. And I especially love trying to gently slurp the spaghetti strands from the bowl and attempting to make as little mess all over the chair and the floor. It never works but hey, one can try.
It’s meatless but it’s full of flavour and satisfying . It’s simple to make, delicious and satisfying. It’s also healthy and nutritious.
- Walnuts are rich in omega-3 which is essential for normal brain function. They are also rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is known to help lower “bad” cholesterol and reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. A study has also found that walnuts contains melatonin, which helps with sleep regulation, circadian rhythms and light-dark adjustment.
- Mushrooms are not only a great meat replacement it’s also great for weight management. They’re very low in saturated fat and cholesterol and also are a good source of protein and folate which supports your brain and nervous system. They are also critical for red blood cell production (folate, iron, copper, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6, are necessary for the production of red blood cells) as well as supporting reproductive health in women.
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 140 ml tomato paste
- 4 vine ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 2 carrots, dice into small squares
- 350 g Swiss Brown mushroom, sliced
- 1 ½ cup walnut, finely chopped
- 2 fresh chilli, chopped
- 2 cups of water
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- Process walnut in a food processor or chop using a knife to a rough crumb
- Heat olive oil in a large pan under medium heat. Fry onion for about 2-3 minutes until fragrant and soft.
- Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add tomato, tomato paste, carrot, walnut, water and chilli.
- Simmer for 1 hour until the sauce thick and rich
- Add salt and pepper, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Add mushroom and cook for about 2 minutes,
- Turn the heat off, add basil leaves and pour over freshly cooked pasta.
Notes and Tips:
- For low carb alternative, you can replace the pasta with zucchini noodles by slicing the zucchini into thin strips using a knife, a mandolin or a spiraliser. Toss the zucchini in a pan over a medium heat for 1 – 2 minutes to warm it up.
- Add 1/2 cup of kalamata olives in place of salt
- Replace 1 cup of water with 1 cup of red wine
- Add a teaspoon of dried oregano or mixed dried Italian herbs instead of basil
Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and/or share a picture on Instagram and tag me so I can see your creation