Author Notes: Not wanting to eat meat doesn’t necessarily makes me want to eat fake meat instead. However, I do not live alone, and I’m the only ‘real’ vegetarian in this household.
To be honest, I’m not really a sucker for meat-replacement products. Not wanting to eat meat doesn’t necessarily makes me want to eat fake meat instead. I’m not into the specific taste and structure of meat, and anything made that looks and tastes just like it, isn’t really on my list of interests.
However, I do not live alone, and i’m the only ‘real’ vegetarian in this household. (And the only one that cooks.) Though, Wolf doesn’t get any meat (yet), but he’s not even two years old, so his opinion doesn’t count. He just is a vegetarian, and loves his quinoa-veggies-lentils-egg-or-whatever-dinners deeply.
All the others dó like some meat sometimes, and I don’t want to prohibit them from eating it, as long as it is of good quality and just not too often. I hope one day the choise of being a vegetarian will be one of themselves. (Of course I use some discreet propaganda here and there :-) )
This Pasta Bolognese is one of my favorite recipes, because it’s always satisfying and very much appreciated by everybody eating it. And the funny things is, the kids really believe they’re eating meat. Even Nicolaas didn’t taste the difference at first (yes, I told him later on). It’s because my kids assured me a Pasta Bolognese without meat is no Bolognese. So I found a meat replacement product from an organic brand named ‘Provamel’, which doesn’t really look apealing at first sight, but works very well in a dish like this. It’s made of soy and looks just like the real stuf. (There are so many brands out there, and it’s all quite the same i guess.)
Of course I do get questions like ‘but mom, why do you eat meat, while you’re a vegetarian?’ But for some reason, they never seem very much interested in the answer, which I just mumble away. They’re happy to eat a real Pasta Bolognese. And that’s it. —Mirjam Leslie-Pringle
- 1 pound spaghetti (or any other pasta you like. I used this gluten-free pasta)
- 1 zucchini
- 1 large carrot
- 2 medium red onions
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 gloves of garlic
- 2 vegetable broth cubes
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) frito (concentrated tomatoe puree)
- 1 carton (or about 200 gr. soy based minced ‘meat’)
- 2 cans of diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon oregano (dried)
- 1 tablespoon basil (dried)
- 1 tablespoon thyme (dried) (and some fresh stems if you have)
- 1 cup white wine
- 4 dried bay leaves
- 1 cup of freshly cut basil
- 1 or 2 tablespoons agave syrup
- freshly ground pepper and sea salt
- parmasan cheese to granish and some chiliflakes.
- Cook your pasta in a large pot of well-salted water until tender. (use directipns n the back for exact timing.)
- Cut your zucchini in little pieces
- Do the same with the carrot,
- And the onions.
- Heat the olive oil in a firm thick cooking pan,
- And add the onions, and stir on medium heat.
- Meanwhile, mince the garlic, and add to the onion
- Cook for about 5 minutes, but be carefull it doesn’t burn. Lower your heat when needed.
- Add the vegetables and stirfry for another 10 minutes, or until tender.
- Than add the vegetable cubes and the frito, stir well.
- Add the soy meat and all the herbs.
- Pour in the cans of diced tomatoes, the wine and the bay leaves.
- Stir in 1 or 2 tbsp of Agave syrop.
- Cover the pot and simmer for at least 30 minutes on low heat.
- In the meantime: cook your pasta in a large pot of well-salted water until tender. (use directions on the back of the pack for exact timing.)
- Make sure to take out the bay leaves and fresh thyme sprigs.
- Add salt and pepper to taste to your sauce.
- Coarsely cut the fresh basil, and add to the sauce.
- Mix the sauce with a hand-blender, but make sure to keep enough structure.
- Serve directly, and add some parmesan cheese on top, if you like and sprinkle some coarse chilie flakes over it. (I just love them!)
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Family Recipe