Ever since I was a kid I have loved pasta, and especially spaghetti. As a 7-year-old, I didn’t like the bolognese, I just wanted a plate of plain spaghetti. But no ketchup. If anyone put ketchup on the pasta, I went bananas. I just hated it! Not like most kids I guess, but you know, you gotta set your own rules, right? 😬
When I was a student (fast forward 10-15 years), pasta was obviously a staple in my kitchen. You know, cheap, easy to prepare and perfect for lunch boxes. That was until I figured that I was allergic to gluten and had to switch to the much more expensive gluten-free pasta. It was around that time I took a break from pasta altogether, the gluten-free version was just not as good and it contained too many ingredients. And it wasn’t student economy friendly either.
Now this was about 6 years ago, and much has happened since then. There are almost too many options today; lentil pasta, chickpea pasta, corn pasta, soybean pasta… And the list goes on. At least it’s not hard to find gluten-free pasta nowadays. And it doesn’t have to contain 25 ingredients or be expensive either. So, now I’m back in pasta heaven again. I don’t eat it that often to be honest, but I still love to have a big bowl of pasta now and then. We often use chickpea pasta when we decide to make a big pasta salad or a super easy pasta+pesto+lemon+asparagus dinner. For vegan spaghetti bolognese and pasta marinara, we always use corn pasta from a Swedish brand called Garantskafferiet (not sponsored, just really like this product). It’s made only from corn flour and water and it tastes just like traditional spaghetti.
Now, to make a plant-based bolognese there are a few options. You can use meat substitutes like minced soy, but I rather make my bolognese using lentils. This bolognese is super creamy and with the oregano, it gets just the perfect taste. Almost like you’re in Italy. I also like to add a jalapeno or two to spice things up a bit, but you do as you like. Bon appetit!
Plant-based Spaghetti Bolognese
2 cloves of garlic
1 yellow onion
1000 g organic canned tomatoes
1/2 – 1 dl water
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tbsp oregano
1/2 tsp thyme
4 dl red lentils, pre-cooked or canned
salt & black pepper to taste
oil for cooking
500 g of spaghetti, I used gluten-free corn spaghetti
- Heat up water for the spaghetti and then cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package.
- Peel and finely chop the yellow onion and garlic. Cut the jalapeno into thin slices.
- Heat up some oil in a large saucepan, then fry the onion over medium heat for a couple of minutes.
- Lower the heat and add the canned tomatoes, water, jalapeno, spices, and herbs.
- Let the tomato sauce cook over low heat for about 10 minutes.
- Add the pre-cooked lentils and let cook for another couple of minutes.
- Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
- Serve the spaghetti with the bolognese, and vegetables of your choice. Personally, I like to serve my pasta bolognese with cherry tomatoes, fresh spinach, and steamed asparagus.