So Quorn, hmm. Not really sure how I feel about it if I’m honest, but it works really well in this dish, mainly because I adapted it from a meat recipe. When I was a kid, I used to get furious bolognese envy. I’d look over at my best friend Philippa shovelling forkfuls of cascading spaghetti into her mouth, flecked with delicious, oily meat and cheddar cheese. I would then woefully look down at my plate, a lone soggy stuffed pepper staring up at me, I wish I was dead… Okay so that’s perhaps a little dramatic, but I wanted to create a decent alternative to bolognese that would make little Corrie very happy. I now cook it all the time and everyone loves it, it’s cheap (about £3 per portion) and easy, although it does take a couple of hours in the oven so I always make it on a lazy Sunday. Enjoy!
(Oh and I use a hand blender in this recipe to blend the vegetables but just because I do this doesn’t mean you have to. Simply chop your veg up smaller, blending doesn’t make much difference, I just prefer the texture).
Serves 4 / Hands on time 30 mins / Cooking time 1 – 2 hours / Mf ❄
You’ll need: A hand blender/ food processor. A oven-proof cooking pot with a lid.
1 tsp olive oil
1 white onion, roughly chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
350g Quorn mince
150ml semi skimmed milk
150ml vegetarian white wine*
1 can plum tomatoes
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Large handful of black olives in brine, drained
300g wholewheat spaghetti
Extra virgin olive oil
100g Parmesan* or vegetarian alternative (you can actually use any cheese you fancy, I used my homemade goats cheese)
Handful of fresh basil
Mf– Meat and fish free ❄– Suitable for home freezing
❄ This bolognese is suitable for home freezing once cooled. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
*Most wines are unfortunately not vegetarian or vegan, due to products used in the ‘fining’ process. Wine makers are also under no obligation to disclose if they have used animal products on the label. Vegetarian and vegan wines are available in most supermarkets.
* Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiani) is always made using animal rennet, therefore it is not vegetarian. Substitute for Italian hard cheese if applicable.
1. Preheat your oven to 160°C/140°C fan/gas mark 3. In a large oven-proof pot, on a medium heat, sweat the onion, carrot and celery in the oil (if the onions start to stick, add a dash of water to prevent the vegetables from burning and to help them steam).
2. Once soft, take off the heat and roughly blend the vegetables with a hand blender or food processor. Return to the heat and add the mince and the milk. Cook for a few minutes until the milk has absorbed before adding the tinned tomatoes. Break the plum tomatoes up a bit with a spoon and add the white wine, olives, nutmeg and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper.
3. Put the lid on a jar and cook slowly in the oven for up to 2 hours, stirring halfway through.
4. Remove from the oven and serve on top of spaghetti, with torn fresh basil, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a good crack of salt and pepper.
If you’ve had a go at making my bolognese or any of my other recipes I’d love to hear about it. @corrieheale firstname.lastname@example.org