Thursday, 10 March 2011

Soy mince bolognese

While I thought I'd blog a lot more when taking a sabbatical between jobs, the opposite happened ... then the new job started with a 4 week trip to Kelowna, Canada, and I realized that I never stayed in a hotel for 4 weeks. Nor do I wish to repeat the experience. It sounds quite luxurious to eat out every night (and morning and lunch), but in fact it's rather depressing. The food was good, mind you, it just wasn't my food. And of course I put on an undisclosed amount of extra weight.

Which is why now a lot more vegetables are featuring on my menu. And low-calorie substitutes for staples. Like soy mince for beef mince.

So, without further ado, here's the recipe:

Vegetarian Bolognese Sauce 

1 pack of soy mince
700 ml pureed tomatoes (a big tin of canned tomatoes will work, too)
1 medium yellow onion
1 medium carrot
2 cloves of garlic
1 red chili (optional)
1/2 cup of red wine (optional)
a handful of dried porcini mushrooms (optional)
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp fresh basil
1 - 2 tbsp olive oil 
 salt, paprika, black pepper

If you use them, soak the mushrooms for at least 15 minutes in cold water.
Cube the onion and carrot, finely chop the garlic and chili.
Heat the olive oil over medium heat, add the onion and fry gently until translucent. Add the chili, garlic, and carrot. Add a sprinkling of salt, and continue to fry for another few minutes. Add the soy mince (be careful to read the instructions, they do differ, some ask for being soaked.), fry shortly, then add the wine. Let the wine cook away a bit, then add the tomatoe puree or tomatoes.
Bring to a boil, turn heat down low. Add bay leaves, sugar and the chopped mushrooms. For a bit earthier flavour, you can also add the soaking water. 
Let the whole lot simmer for at least 30 minutes, or until the sauce has the desired consistency.
Add salt, pepper and paprika to taste, and the basil. Serve over spaghetti with a sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan.