Sunday, April 20, 2014

Hearty Vegetarian 'Bolognese' Sauce (Quick Sunday Dinner!)

I think I've overdone it this week.  Between matzo-palooza earlier this week and the pre-Easter See's Candy binge I went on over the weekend (there was also a salted caramel ice cream episode that I'm trying to pretend didn't happen--except it did--and it was amazing...), I'm pretty sure that my nutrition has taken a bit of a hit.

So in an effort to get myself back to my usual (and equally tasty) fare, I've decided to go with something comforting, tasty, and mostly vegetable.  The recipe for this vegetarian 'Bolognese' was actually born from the sauce used on my Italian Stuffed Cabbage Rolls.  It occurred to me that it might make an excellent Bolognese sauce on its own.

I added crumbled, Italian style seitan (wheat gluten protein) to the sauce, but you can add tofu or nothing at all (or you can add ground meat of some kind--but then it's no longer vegetarian).

This sauce is chock-full of veggies and has a rich, hearty flavor from the red wine and tamari.  It's as easy as pouring lots of things into a large pot and letting the mixture go for 20 minutes.  You're left with a hearty sauce that tastes great on pastas of all kinds!

Hearty Vegetarian 'Bolognese" Sauce
Makes 4-5 servings

1 cup of chopped onions
2 tbsp of minced garlic
1 tbsp of olive oil
1.5 cups of roughly chopped carrots
2 roughly chopped zucchini
I can of artichoke hearts in water (drained)
1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup tamari or balsamic vinegar
1 can of no salt added tomato sauce
Italian seasoning/ red pepper flakes/ salt and pepper--to taste
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional)
1 cup of seitan/tofu/meat (optional)
Add the carrots, zucchini, and artichokes to the food processor and pulse until finely chopped.  In a large pot add the tbsp of olive oil and saute the garlic and onions until the onions are translucent.  Add the chopped vegetables and saute, after seasoning with salt and pepper, for a minute or two.  Add the red wine, tamari/balsamic vinegar, Italian seasoning, and protein-of-choice. Let the mixture reduce for a couple of minutes. Add the tomato sauce and optional nutritional yeast.  Test for seasonings (I usually add another layer of Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes).  Simmer on low for 20 minutes. 
Top your pasta of choice with the sauce and garnish with cheese/cheeze of choice!
Enjoy this quick Sunday meal!

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