Veggie Filled Bolognese with Rigatoni


Stepping away from the sweet stuff for a second to give you a recipe I’ve been making for years. It was one of the first dishes I ‘veganised’ when I became plant based three years ago. Bolognese has always been a childhood favourite and I don’t really know anyone who doesn’t love the nostalgia of it. It’s filling, belly warming and deliciously tasty. Obviously I wanted to emulate the texture and flavour of a luxurious beef ragu that had depth of flavour and a rich bolognese feel. So the key to this one is using a blender. Blitzing the vegetables so that they cook down beautifully is an important step that’s crucial to getting this finished product. I use a thick tomato paste, red wine, miso paste, mustard and a very decent veggie broth get as close to the real thing as possible. Long and slow is also the method used in the dish, you want the vegetables to release their moisture and take on the flavour of all the added ingredients. Serve this with heaps of freshly cracked black pepper and a little tip is so shave some Brazil nut on top to mimic the look of parmesan. So try this recipe is so delicious and such a crowd pleaser.

I try to bulk up this meal with as many vegetables as possible, so this one is packed with beautiful mushrooms, carrots, onions and ingredients that you should have in your cupboard.

I would recommend to try and get your hands on a vegan beef stock but in this case I didn't have it so I just used 1 tbs of light miso paste instead, which is packed with that beautiful umami flavour that we all crave. A food processor is very important for this recipe as breaking down the vegetables until they are quite fine give that smooth rich ragu texture that we are looking for.



1 large white onion, finely chopped

1 large carrot, finely chopped

3 stalks of celery, finely chopped

30 chestnut mushrooms (about 4 cups when chopped)

1 cup cooked lentils

1 tbs soy

1 tbs dijon mustard

1 tbs white miso

100ml red wine

1 large tine chopped tomatoes

1 tbs brown sugar

2 litres vegetable stock/vegan beef stock

1 tsb dried oregano or fresh herbs if you have them


400g rigatoni


  1. Firstly blitz the onion, carrot, celery, mushrooms and cooked lentils individually in a blender.

  2. In a large sauce pan on medium heat, add a decent glug of olive oil. Add the onion first and let it cook down for 2/3 minutes. Then add the carrots, followed by the celery. Cook these three vegetables down for 10 minutes until slightly browned.

  3. Now add the mushrooms. Give a good stir and continue to cook for 3 minutes.

  4. Turn the heat up high, add the lentils, soy, dijon and white miso. Cook for another 3 minutes. The paste and soy should stick to the bottom of the pan - do not worry we are going to deglazed with the red wine in a minute.

  5. Add the red wine to deglaze and cook down for 2 minutes. Then add the chopped tomatoes, sugar, stock and oregano. Bring everything to a boil.

  6. Season heavily with salt and pepper. Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for at least 1 hour, stirring regularly. The ragu should have reduced to a wonderfully thick sauce.

  7. 10 minutes before the bolognese is done, begin to cook the rigatoni, bring heavily salted water to the boil and add the pasta. We want this very al dente so remove the pasta from the water 5 minutes before its recommended cooking time. SAVE the pasta water.

  8. Once you've drained the pasta add it back the the sauce pan on medium heat. Using a ladle, spoon the bolognese into the pot with the pasta. Add enough bolognese so that all the pasta is well coated. Add about 100ml of the pasta water at this time also and keep stirring.

  9. Cook the pasta and the bolognese so that the bolognese coats the pasta nicely, this should take about 5 minutes. If you need to loosen the sauce add more pasta water, if it isn't saucy enough add some more bolognese.

  10. Keep the remaining bolognese sauce in an air tight container for up to 5 days in the fridge.

  11. Serve the rigatoni bolognese with vegan cheese, lots of black pepper and shaved brazil nut to mimic the look of parmesan.

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