I have found my new favorite sauce to eat pasta with. And, guys, it’s a bolognese. A meaty one.
In my pre-vegan days, the only kind of sauce I’d eat when we ate out at an Italian restaurant, or ordered a pizza, was the creamy, cheesy kind that’s still hugging my waist after all these years, no doubt. The tomato sauces and even the bolognese sauces were not for me. I wanted smooth and velvety and all of that without a bit of acidity.
But this bolognese sauce is the bomb. There are tomatoes in here, but just enough to make your tastebuds feel all spring-y and fresh without overwhelming them. And to make the sauce smoky– because I like me some good old meaty smoke — I added one of my favorite herbs that is always the first to spring up as the weather warms: sage. For some sweetness, I added another spring favorite: mint.
I wanted this to be a meaty sauce, so I used a packet of meatless beef crumbles that I’d bought weeks ago and forgotten all about in the freezer. If you’d rather not use a meat substitute, don’t fret: use a bean, like a great northern bean or a lima bean. Smush it up a little, not a lot, with a potato masher to get the right texture.
It’s been a beautiful week here in the northeast, with sunshine and flowers and short thunderstorms that give a dazzling display of light and sound, water the garden, and then move on. Perfect. I hope all of this goodness sticks around for the weekend. Enjoy it!
- 1 pound bowtie pasta, cook according to package directions in salted water
- 1 package beef crumbles, I used Beyond Meat which has about 330 grams per package
- 3 tomatoes, pureed
- 8 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 pound green beans, I had these really tender beans that I left whole, but cut into smaller pieces if you'd rather
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh mint
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the garlic, stir-fry for a few seconds over medium heat, then add the beef crumbles and some ground black pepper.
- Saute, stirring frequently, until the crumbles are warmed through. Add the green beans and stir well to mix.
- Add the pureed tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and sage. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the sauce is quite reduced and the tomato is a few shades darker, about 8-10 minutes.
- Mix in the cooked pasta and stir well to mix. Add salt and ground black pepper as needed.
- Squeeze in the lemon juice and mix in the mint.
- Serve hot.
Hungry for more bolognese? Try my slow-cooker Lentil Bolognese, which cooks while you sleep, work, or play!