When cooking up a bolognese sauce, the No. 1 question is: Red or White? This discussion seems to be going on..and..on.
When searching around for THE answer to this mother-of-all-bolognese-questions some people tend to throw some milk into the discussion as well. As if red or white isn’t hard enough already!? Let’s turn this dilemma into a trilemma.
I figured that for this particular veggie bolognese sauce, to which I added a nice portion of minced beef, (hey, you don’t have to, if you want it to be veggie! Just leave it out! It’ll be delicious without the meat as well!) I started crossing of the three options. Milk would make it a kind of creamy sauce, I don’t like my bolognese creamy so crossed it off. Back to the red or white question again.
In my opinion white will make the sauce a little more fresh while red will make the bolognese warm and full. I’ll leave this discussion for now, and just focus on ‘science’ :). Red wine drinkers are found to be happier, but white wine drinkers are more practical…Happy or practical?…I’ll go for happy today :) Oh yeah, if you’re still in doubt check the Telegraph report on red and white wine personalities here.
How to make the veggie bolognese sauce
In this veggie bolognese sauce you’ll use fresh veggies, such as; mushrooms, eggplant and celeriac. I guess both red or white would fit in, but I go for red because I feel happy and I think it would make a perfect fit! Now guess what? Yes..you know…I wouldn’t be writing this recipe if it wasn’t good. This veggie bolognese sauce is incredible!! It’ll make you feel happy anyway.
For making the veggie bolognese it would make life easier if you have a kitchen machine that has a grater (or make it a kitchen work-out and grate it by hand, yay, make this recipe even more healthy ;) )
Grate the celeriac, eggplant, mushrooms, onions and garlic after you put a large saucepan or dutch oven with some olive oil on medium heat.
You can see when the oil is hot enough when it starts to show little kind of waves and vibrations.
Then add the grated veggies, this is the part where a little smile starts to grow on your face because of the great smell that fills your kitchen. When your veggies are sauteed it’s time to spice the bolognese up a little. Add in dried oregano, basil and chili powder. Give it a good stir..and don’t forget to let that smile grow a little bigger :).
Untill now you only have a pan full of spiced veggies, so let’s make it a sauce! Add in a can of plum tomatoes, a tin of tomato puree and a glass of red wine (or white if you feel practical today) and a beef stock cube. Let this simmer for a while on low/medium heat.
This part is only for those who love meat in their bolognese!
In the meantime heat up a skillet with a drip of olive oil on medium to high heat and add your fresh lean minced beef meat. Cook the meat brown while breaking it into smaller and smaller pieces with your spatula. Sprinkle a pinch of (sea)salt and pepper on top and add into the sauce. Give it another stir!
How to make zoodles
If you grated all the veggies by hand and feel like doing a little more kitchen work, get out your peeler and turn the zucchinis into thin slices, next thing is cutting these slices into zoodels. (Say what!? Zoodles!? Yup, Zucchini Noodles…. it might even be better to call them Zaghetti, Zucchini Spaghetti since this is bolognese. Cut the peeled slices into very thin strips.
If that earlier kitchen workout made you tired I suggest buying a spiraliser. This handy little machine cuts your zucchini into zoodles in no time!
By now your veggie bolognese sauce will be nearly done, heat a skillet or wok with a splash of olive oil on medium heat and saute the zoodles for a minute or two.
Now it’s time to finish and start making up the plates. Grab your cooking tongs and share the zoodles over the plates and make a nice little bed for your veggie bolognese sauce! Garnish with some fresh basil and sprinkle a few drops of olive oil on top! You will love it. period.
Veggie Bolognese Recipe
- 1 Eggplant, regular size
- 9 oz (250gr) Celeriac
- 1 large Onion
- 1 Clove of garlic
- 4 large Mushrooms
- 2 tbsp dried Basil
- 1 tbsp dried Oregano
- ½ tsp Chili powder
- 14 oz (400gr) tin of Plum tomatoes
- 1 tin tomato puree ( 2.5 oz or 68gr)
- 1 beefstock cube (or vegetbale stock cube)
- ⅔ cup (160mL) Red wine
- ⅔ pound (300gr) Minced beef, lean (optional)
- 2 Zucchinis (buy straight ones, they're easy to slice)
- Olive oil
- Heat a large saucepan or dutch oven with a splash of olive oil on medium/high heat.
- Grate the eggplant, celeriac, mushroom, garlic and onion using a kitchen machine.
- When the oil is hot, add in the grated vegetables and saute for 10 minutes. Keep stirring every few minutes.
- Add in the dried basil, dried oregano and chili powder and stir well.
- After two minutes add in, while stirring, the plum tomatoes, tomato puree, red wine and the stock cube.
- Start cooking the minced beef in a skillet until brown and add into the sauce when ready. Stir.
- Make zoodles using a spiralizer or:
- Slice thin slices of the zucchine using a kitchen peeler. Stop slicing when you hit the core with seeds, turnaround and slice all sides without slicing the core.
- Cut the slices into zoodles using a sharp knife.
- Heat a skillet with olive oil and saute the zoodles for two minutes.
- Serve with fresh basil, a few drops of olive oil and sprinkle a pinch of seasalt on the bolognese.