Bolognese sauce is one of those sauces that everyone knows how to make and everyone has it’s own version. It is also popular with children, although it is still one of my go-to recipes whenever I fancy some spaghetti! One thing is for sure, and that is that the bolognese sauce we tend to have is anything but authentic! However, I always say that as long as it tastes authentically good it really doesn’t matter, I’m not a purist by any means.
In fact this is a vegetarian version of my mother’s recipe and since she is Spanish, there is a definite Spanish influence and variation of the traditional recipe. After all I use white wine and tomato frito sauce as part of the ingredients which may leave some people wondering what is going on, but trust me, it tastes delicious! Tomato frito (or tomate frito in Spanish) is a classic sauce which is basically onion, peppers, garlic and tomato sauce, like a sofrito, but blended which makes it quite sweet as it releases all the natural sugars of the onions. This in turn gives a lovely depth to the tomato and reduces any acidity from the tinned tomato puree.
I also use yeast extract (Marmite) in order to give a savoury depth of flavour and that ‘meatiness’ that classic bolognese has. The Maggi Jugo seasoning (also known as liquid aminos in some places) also helps bolster those savoury flavours. The white wine is used in many Spanish dishes and even though it is normally not used in a bolognese, I have always had it this way and think it tastes good, however you can use red wine too. The thing is that I tend to keep the red wine for myself and won’t use it for food (unless I have to!)
The secret to this dish is to cook it slow, it tastes better believe me! However you can do it faster if you’re in a hurry and make it a meal in 30 minutes. You can also use some herbs, like oregano and thyme and add them towards the end, it will taste good but I tend to simply cook it as is. It is a very simple and tasty sauce to make, especially for the family.You can serve this with any type of pasta but spaghetti is my favourite, and also you can use this as the sauce for a lasagne.
Whether this dish is vegan or vegetarian depends on the type of mince. Many veggie minces are not vegan but if you want to make this vegan you can use the same amount of some minced seitan, rehydrated textured soya, or minced tofu.
- 1 large onion
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 300g veggie mince
- 400g tinned tomato
- 300g tomato frito sauce
- 200ml white wine
- 2 tbsp yeast extract (Marmite)
- 0.5 tsp Maggi Jugo seasoning
- salt to taste
- Finely dice the onion and sweat in a pan with the oil on a medium heat.
- When the onion is translucent dice the garlic cloves and add them to the pan. Cook for a further 5 minutes or so.
- Add the tinned tomato, the tomato frito sauce, the white wine, yeast extract and Maggi Jugo seasoning. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for a bout 15 minutes
- Add the veggie mince, bring back to a gentle simmer and cook for another 10-15 minutes.
- Taste for salt, and serve with some freshly cooked pasta.