I always had my least favourite classes on a Tuesday in secondary school…double Science, Irish and double P.E (Physical Education)…I wasn’t exactly in to keeping fit during my early teenage years. Not that P.E could really be described as such as it involved changing in to a tracksuit at a rate of knots only to either go for a dance lesson or occasionally a brief game of hockey outside in the freezing cold.
This was then followed by a even speedier change back in to the heavy uniform, woollen jumper, shirt, tie, tights and all before racing to the next class as a sweaty mess. My frizz prone hair was never compliant might I had just to add insult to injury.
I don’t have any real reasons, other than the logical one, to dislike Tuesday’s these days. Actually to be honest I think I’m over my dis taste for them. The thing that always made Tuesday’s that bit easier to deal with was knowing my favourite dinner was on the menu that evening. It was a very rare occasion that spaghetti bolognese wasn’t being cooked up by my mum, served with garlic bread and a generous sprinkling of grated cheese it was my favourite meal of the week.
Up to quite recently my mum was still making her spaghetti bolognese of a Tuesday until my little niece came along. It’s now one of her firm favourites and so its served up on either a Monday or Wednesday when she visits. As my mum cooked up her new and improved homemade spaghetti bolognese, she now prides herself on her fresh bolognese sauce, I got a bit of longing for something similar myself. I’ve been eating a hell of a lot of pasta lately, I’m on a pasta kick; over doing the brown rice had to have an impact eventually
I decided to make a “meaty” vegan bolognese incorporating lots of crumbled tempeh, mushrooms and red pepper in a quick and easy marinara sauce, served on top of a plate full of wholegrain spelt spaghetti. It was everything I dreamed of an then some! The tempeh worked wonderfully in the sauce. Although I’ve never been a fan of meat and it’s “meatiness” for some reason I love the protein rich, dense, slightly chewy texture of tempeh. As you must know by now I simply can’t get enough of it ever since this life changing recipe.
Fresh basil on top for that pretty aromatic touch. Although I’m a HUGE coriander fan the smell of fresh basil comes up trumps in the herb category. It’s the herb you can pretty much taste from the sheer intensity of it’s aroma.
This has to be one of the quickest, simplest vegan dishes I’ve made of late; I’m not going to lie and tell you it could fool a meat eater but there is a good chance it would please them It was so good I had it yesterday and whipped up another plateful for dinner today.
Did you or do you have least favourite day of the week? Was there anything that helped make it that bit more manageable growing up?
Tempeh Spaghetti Bolognese
Servings – 1
Preparation Time – 5 minutes
Cooking Time – 20 minutes
- 125ml (1/2 cup) Passata (sieved tomatoes)
- 1 tsp tomato puree
- 1/2 tbsp balsamic
- 1 clove of garlic minced (if you a roasted clove it makes the sauce even better!)
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 small red bell pepper
- 1/3 block of tempeh (approx. 3.5oz) crumbled or finely chopped
- 1/2 cup chestnut/crimini mushrooms roughly chopped
- Basil to garnish
- Wholegrain spaghetti or pasta of choice to serve
- Add garlic to a pan with a drop of water and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Red pepper goes in next, cooking for a further 5 minutes, adding some additional water if it dries up. Finally the crumbled tempeh goes in to the pan to cook and brown for 3-4 minutes.
- Add in the passata, dried basil, salt, balsamic, black pepper and tomato puree. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile cover your spaghetti with boiling water and cook for 8 – 10 minutes depending on how al dente you like it.
- I always sauté my mushrooms seperately, just for 3-4 minutes. Add a drop of water to get them going, no oil is necessary. Place them in a bowl lined with kitchen paper for a couple of minutes to remove any excess water before adding them to the sauce.
- Mix everything together and heat through for a final couple of minutes. Serve tempeh bolognese on top of cooked spaghetti, garnished with some fresh basil. It’s that simple!