While thinking about cooking supper for a vegetarian, I wondered if I could do a Vegetable Bolognese. This is the result. The amounts below were for three people, but they are variable anyway. Depends what you've got and how hungry you are!
pasta per person
large mushroom per person
small tin of butter beans
oil for frying
small tin of tomato paste
grated cheese (optional)
knife and board for chopping
spoon for stirring
colander or sieve (optional)
fry vegetables and meat
- Put a little oil in the frying pan for frying. Peel and chop the and fry it for a bit. Add any other ingredients that you want, then the .
- Add some tomato paste. I suggest a small tin, which is quite a lot. You may prefer less. Stir and fry the mixture for a bit. Add some water, and the butter beans, stir and leave to cook over a low heat.
- Put the in the saucepan. Cover with water. Heat until boiling, then turn down as low as possible, and cook until done. .
- Put the pasta and mince on a plate, and add some grated cheese on top if you want.
- There are many different types of pasta. This recipe is British rather than Italian, and was originally Spaghetti Bolognese, as this was the only type of pasta you could buy in Britain. If you still want to use spaghetti, there is a trick of cooking it. Uncooked, it's too big to fit in the pan. You can stand the spaghetti up in the boiling water, and as it gradually cooks, bend it round the pan. But honestly, why? I break the uncooked spaghetti up into pieces small enough to fit in the pan, and no-one notices! I tend to use tagliatelle, which I prefer. It is also long pieces of pasta, but flat, and the uncooked pasta is wound into balls of about one ounce each, so you use two per person, which is handy (although amounts of pasta is a very personal issue - you may prefer more). These balls fit easily into the saucepan. There are also other types of pasta, which I tend to call bow-ties or shells or whatever they remind me of. You can use whatever you wish.
- This recipe uses a small tin of . This is concentrated tomato paste, not tomato sauce of any variety. If you prefer, you can use chopped ordinary tomatoes, or tinned tomatoes. They will be more watery, so use less water.
- are quite pleasant in this. Fry them with the onions. You're probably supposed to have . In fact, you can add anything you want, but consider how much cooking there is. If you add carrots and celery, for example (which is very nice), then it might be better to cook in the oven for an hour or so (medium heat) rather than for a short time in a saucepan.
- You can add some herbs if you wish. Basil is supposed to go well with tomato. You can also add any other flavouring, such as special sauces.
- You can use red wine rather than water for extra pizazz.
- I have suggested using butter beans. This gives extra texture, plus a protein boost. You could use any other beans instead, of course. Or leave them out. There is a little protein in the pasta, and in the cheese (see below).
- I've suggested adding some grated cheese. Without the cheese, this is a vegan dish, but a little light on protein. Perhaps you could add a dish of nuts to nibble!
© Jo Edkins 2007 -