Monday, January 21, 2013

Eat: Vegan Bolognese Sauce

Sometimes in winter, when your face feels so cold it hurts, you just want to come home to something warm. A couple night ago, that something came in the form of a warm vegan bolognese sauce poured over gluten-free brown rice linguini.

Now for your little bit of food history: Bolognese sauce is a meat-based sauce that originally came from... Bologna, Italy, of course! It was first documented in the late 18th century by the father of Italian cooking, Pellegrino Artusi (also the guy who penned one of the earliest recipes for minestrone, which he thought had made him fatally ill until he found out it wasn't bad minestrone, but cholera. No really, look it up.) The original recipe calls for meat, specifically veal (the cursed meat of all vegans), onions, carrots, and butter. Mushrooms were approved as a good addition. The recipe was pretty simple: nicely mince and brown everything, and then cook the whole thing in meat broth.

My vegan recipe is almost just as simple... but healthier and with less, you know, animal cruelty, butter and stuff.

Vegan Bolognese Sauce

Yields: 4 servings
Prep & Cooking Time: 30 minutes

1 C dried lentils, soaked for a few hours (this will roughly double the volume)
1T extra virgin olive oil
1/4 medium yellow onion, diced
1 big clove of garlic, minced
1 T dried rosemary (and/or other herbs)
1 large carrot, halved and chopped
1/4 C red pepper, diced
1/3 C water
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 C tomato sauce
salt and pepper, to taste

1. First prep your lentils: Soak dried lentils for a few hours before cooking. This makes the cooking process take about half the time!
2. Heat your olive oil in a sauce pan, and brown your your onions and garlic for about 4-5 minutes.
3. Still over medium-high head, add in your rosemary, carrots and pepper. Cook and stir for about another 3 minutes.
4. Now add in the lentils and water and let them cook for 5 minutes, making sure the water doesn't run out.
5. Bring down to medium heat, and add the tomato sauce and apple cider vinegar. Cook until the lentils are soft, about another 10 minutes.
6. Finally, bring the heat down to low and let all the flavours seep in for a few minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste!
7. Serve over pasta of your choice (I suggest an organic brown rice pasta)! And enjoy!

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