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 / V ❄
You’ll need: A hand blender/ food processor
Spray oil or 1 tsp olive oil
1 white onion, roughly chopped
2 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
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Large handful of black olives in brine
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
(The bolognese sauce is suitable for home freezing. Consume within 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.
1. Preheat your oven to 160°C/140°C fan/gas mark 3. Roughly chop the onion, carrot and celery and fry in a liberal spray of fry light in a large pot on a medium heat until softened. Once the oil has absorbed, add a couple of tablespoons of water to help the vegetables steam.
2. Once the veg is soft, take the pot off the heat and roughly blend up the vegetables with a hand blender or food processor (this is not an essential, feel free to finely dice your veg if you prefer a chunkier bolognese.
3. Return to the heat, add the mince and 150mls of milk. Cook for a few minutes until the milk has absorbed. (This stage always look a bit unappetising but trust me, it’s going to be delicious). Add the tinned tomatoes and use the spoon to break them up a bit before adding the white wine, olives, nutmeg and plenty of salt and pepper. Pop the lid on slightly a jar and cook slowly in the oven for up to 2 hours, remembering to give it a bit of a stir halfway through (the longer the better really although an hour and half should be enough).
4. Once cooked, stir in al dente spaghetti, divide into bowls and serve topped with torn fresh basil, cheese, a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a crack of black pepper.
TIP: As I am a North London spinster I rarely feed four people so I’ll only usually make enough pasta for 2 portions (150g), one to eat now and one to eat tomorrow for lunch. The rest of the bolognese I tend to pop in old hummus pots and freeze. Wow, my life can be really quite depressing sometimes… Bon appetite!
If you’ve had a go at making my bolognese or any of my other recipes I’d love to hear about it. @corrieheale email@example.com