Spaghetti Bolognese is a firm favourite in my home. There is also a Maltese pasta bake which is made in almost the same way, and which I have also veganised – again, made with pasta, Bolognese sauce, grated cheese and eggs. So, since I had veganised it years ago, I thought why don’t I use spaghetti instead, with a double layer of cheese for that lush, comforting savoury treat. And it worked so well, that it is now a main-stay. It can also be made using gluten free pasta for those who wish to avoid gluten. It freezes very well, so if you intend to freeze it, cook if for half the length of time in the oven, and be sure to allow it to cool for an hour or two before covering it well, and freezing.
NOTE : I have made this dish with an array of different vegan cheeses – including one from my ‘Mouthwatering Vegan’ book with extra tapioca starch for added stretch. But for practicality and speed, use whichever vegan cheese you wish. Also for the filming of this dish I made a rich thick cheddar style mozzarella sauce with starches for extra stretch.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE BOLOGNESE
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 carrot – chopped, steamed until soft and set aside
500g vegan crumble/minced meat (I used frozen)
100g of soya mince (optional)
¾ cup red wine
1 tsp of dark miso paste (dissolve in a little hot water in a cup first)
1 vegan vegetable stock cube
3 Tbsp tomato puree
2 400g tins crushed tomatoes, plus 1 cup of passata
1 tsp dark brown sugar or coconut sugar
a couple of loose fresh bayleaves
salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp fresh majoram
some extra warm water if needed
as much fresh finely chopped parsley as you wish – for garnishing purposes only !
2 cups of grated vegan melting cheese
the equivalent of 2 cups melting vegan cheese slices of your own choice, for the middle layer
METHOD FOR THE BOLOGNESE
- Saute your onion, stirring with a wooden spoon, then add in your garlic and continue to stir.
- Add your carrot and then your mince/crumble, and stir well for a few minutes.
- Now stir in your wine and tomato puree, and after a couple of minutes add the tomatoes, the passata, as well as the rest of the ingredients. Allow to simmer, then lower the heat, and cook for around 40-50 minutes – until rich and thick. Taste for seasoning.
- When it’s done, take off the heat, and allow to cool uncovered for 15 minutes or so before the next step. At this point, you can boil your spaghetti in readiness.
METHOD FOR THE PASTA
- Use 450g of spaghetti.
- Boil the spaghetti according to the instructions, then when putting through the sieve/colander to drain, add a little cold water.
- Now place the drained pasta in the large boiling pot you cooked it in. And set aside for assembling the dish.
METHOD FOR ASSEMBLING THE DISH
- Preheat your oven to 180ºC (355ºF ).
- Using a ladle, add just under half the sauce to the pasta, and gently toss to start mixing it.
- Pour half the Bolognese pasta mix into a suitable oven dish (mine was rectangular, measuring 12 x 9 x 3 inches), and flatten it using the back of a large spoon.
- Then add your sliced cheese on top, and a little more sauce from the sauce that’s remaining.
- Now add another layer of your Spaghetti Bolognese on top, followed by another layer of the cheese.
TIP : Finish off with a drizzle of olive oil which will help the vegan cheese melt better in the oven.
- Now cover gently with foil, being careful not to press it down, otherwise the cheese will stick to the underside of the foil.
- Bake the dish covered in your pre-heated for 30 minutes – then uncover the dish, and cook for a further 20 minutes until the top gets a little colour and the edges a little crunch. Be sure to keep your eye on it, as ovens vary in their temperament.
- When you remove it from the oven, score the portions, then allow a few minutes to cool – cut into portions and serve. Garnish with parsley.
All recipes & content © Miriam Sorrell www.mouthwateringvegan.com 2010
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