I know! I know! I knowwww!!!
I do know that traditionally, Bolognese or Ragu is supposed to be meat-based….but see, the thing is, that I don’t eat beef or pork! So, what if I substitute the minced beef with loads of veggies and let the recipe for a bolognese sauce remain as it is…eh?? I should be allowed to call it a veggie bolognese pasta then, right? Well, I am calling it that anyway. It’s my blog! (hee hee hee!)
So, the world is divided between white sauce lovers and red sauce lovers. Most days, I am a white sauce gal. Anything cheesy and rich and yummy…bring it on! However, there will be some days when I’ll crave a rich, red sauce pasta dish to refresh my taste-buds. It was one of those days yesterday..
I had some left over passata and parmesan cheese in my refrigerator and lots of veggies. Also, being a weekend, I was not in a mood to cook something Indian and routine. So, why not a veg bolognese pasta, which is tasty, and doesn’t make you skip your daily dose of vegetables?
You can’t go wrong with this easy, healthy and cheesy red-sauce pasta. Some recipes on the internet recommend using red lentils or black beans to give more texture to the sauce, but I honestly did not feel the need for that.
Give this recipe a go guys, and have a grrrrreat week ahead!
1 pack of tangliatelle or your favorite pasta shape
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
For the sauce:
3 tbsn oil
3-4 tbsn passata or tomato paste
3 ripe, plum tomatoes
1 red onion, finely chopped
1/2 red chilly, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Some basil leaves, washed and chopped
1 stick of celery, finely chopped (optional)
1 carrot, grated or very finely chopped
1 small red capsicum
Some mushrooms, finely chopped
1 cup spinach, washed and finely chopped (optional)
1 tsp tomato ketchup
1 tsp mixed Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
– In a small sauce-pan, take around 1 cup water and put to boil.
– Once the water comes to a boil, put your tomatoes in it and cover the pan. Blanch the tomatoes on medium flame for around 7-8 minutes, until soft.
– Peel the blanched tomatoes and set side to cool. Preserve the water.
– In a different pan, heat 3 tbsn of olive oil.
– Add chopped garlic and red chilly. Saute for a few seconds.
– Add the chopped onions and cook until they turn pink and translucent.
– Add the carrot, celery, capsicum and mushrooms. Cook until everything turns a bit tender.
– Blend your blanched tomatoes in a smooth puree. You may or may not chose to sieve your pureed tomatoes. I did not!
– Add the pureed tomatoes to the mixture and cook for 4-5minutes, until the tomato puree looks cooked. Also throw in your basil leaves at this point.
– Add the passata and tomato ketchup. Mix and cook till your see oil leaving sides of your sauce.
– Throw in your seasonings as well as salt and pepper.
– If using spinach, add to your sauce and mix well. Spinach will turn soft if no time.
– Cook your sauce for around 7-8 minutes, covered. It should be thick in consistency, so that it coats your pasta well. If you want your sauce to be a bit thinner, add a few spoons of the preserved water from the blanched tomatoes. If not, dispose off the water. Switch off the gas. Your delicious pasta sauce is ready!
– Boil the pasta, according to the instructions on the packet.
– Once your pasta is cooked al-dante, rinse and run it under the cold water, so that it doesn’t cook further due to its own hot temperature. Once it is drained off the water completely, pour your extra-virgin olive oil on the pasta and gently mix, so that it doesn’t stick to each other. Plate up the individual portions to serve in bowls or plates.
– Pour a ladleful of hot red sauce on each pasta portion.
– Lastly, sprinkle generous amounts of grated parmesan all over your pasta and serve!
– Chop all your vegetables very fine, otherwise the sauce ends up looking lumpy.
– You may also add 1/4 cup of vegetable stock to your sauce, to make it more flavorful.
– Grill some cherry tomatoes in a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Serve as a beautiful and delicious garnish with your pasta!