Meatless “Meat” Sauce: Tempeh Bolognese v2

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This is my updated tempeh bolognese. It is the same basic recipe as my cauliflower red lentil bolognese but with tempeh. As I said in my cauliflower post, I know it’s not technically bolognese but I used the basic template for the traditional recipe – a mirepoix of onions, carrots and celery – and came up with a fantastic sauce. The tempeh is infused with white wine (my original was infused with red) and the lovely flavors of the vegetables. It is great on top of pasta and even better in the middle of a big lasagna!

Note: cooking is an art not a science. So, the size of vegetables varies. For the mirepoix, it should be 50% onions, 25% carrots and 25% celery.

This recipe makes a little more than 3 cups of sauce.

8oz. soy tempeh
1/2 cup water
1/2 tablespoon tamari

1/2 medium onion
2 stalks celery
2 carrots
2 cloves of garlic
1 cup white wine *
1 tube of tomato paste (4.5 oz.)
1 jar of crushed tomatoes (18.3 oz.)
1/2 cup cashew milk **
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt, 1 teaspoon, divided

*For wine, use what you like meaning what you would drink. I love my Vegan Vine Chardonnay.

**To make homemade cashew milk, add 1 cup of cashews to 3 cups of filtered water into the Vitamix and let it rip until it is smooth. If you don’t have a Vitamix, it is time to get one or soak the cashews for a few hours.

Break up the tempeh in crumbles. They don’t have to be too fine, just so that the block is broken up. Add to a pot along with the water and tamari. Mix it all together to try to coat the tempeh with the tamari. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook until the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Every few minutes go in with a wooden spoon and break the tempeh up even more.

Make the mirepoix. Evenly dice the onion, celery and carrots and add to the pot with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. If you are oil free, water sauté the vegetables.

Season with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook on low heat until the vegetables have softened. This should take somewhere between 8 and 10 minutes. Press the garlic over the mirepoix and let it cook in for 2 more minutes.

Add the tempeh to the mirepoix, along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and mix together and cook for a few minutes.

Add the wine and cook it down for 2 minutes so that the alcohol cooks off. Add the tomato paste and mix it in well. Cook for a minute. Add the crushed tomatoes and season with the rest of the salt. Cook on low heat for 15 minutes.

Add the cashew milk and cook for another 15 minutes.

Store the sauce in glass containers in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to use and reheat.

Boil up some pasta – I love these spaghetti sized macaronis – and toss with sauce. Add a little more sauce on top and enjoy!

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