Spicy Tempeh Bolognese Sauce
Saying goodbye to summer saddens me, this means putting away the flip flops, no more sleeveless shirts and laying on the hammock, nor picking mint from my garden, and taking warm sunshine walks in the country. I’ll miss the abundance of fruits and vegetables from the farmer’s markets, and the casual encounters in town. Cold weather hunkers me down but it also inspires lots of cooking and my favorite is comfort food, I love it year around, and this brings me to pasta. I wanted something spicy, garlicky, meaty and hearty, without the meat of course, so I came up with this Bolognese style using ground tempeh, wine and fennel powder, all crucial to texture and flavor. For those of you who enjoyed or enjoy meat-based pastas, this alternative is exceptionally wonderful and packed with protein. Serve this to your meat eating friends and I promise they’ll never know the difference, it’s definitely a new favorite here at home and hope you enjoy this as much as we do.
Note: Be sure to steam the tempeh first it removes the bitterness.
For the tomatoes, you can use fresh and roast them or canned works great. For the canned, I crush them in a blender since the ones I purchase tend to be chopped instead, crushing makes a better sauce.
1 package tempeh steamed 15 minutes
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
¾ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp cracked red pepper plus more
½ large onion chopped
3 large cloves garlic minced
8 oz mushrooms chopped into bits
32 0z can fire roasted tomatoes - crushed
3 tbsp tomato paste
1//4 cup red wine
1 heaping tablespoon dry oregano crush with fingers
2 tsp ground fennel powder
package spaghetti 1 pound cooked al dante’
1. Chop the steamed tempeh and mushrooms into small bits either by hand with a knife or in food processor and set aside.
2. Combine the tomato paste and 1 cup water and set aside
3. Add oil to a medium pot, or large wide pan on medium heat, add the onion, garlic, salt, oregano, and cracked red pepper and sauté for 4 minutes, add the crushed tomatoes and stir 1 minute, add the tomato paste with water and red wine and stir, add the fennel powder, tempeh, mushrooms and stir well, let simmer covered 20-30 minutes to combine the flavors.
Top over your favorite pasta, and optional chopped fresh basil and hearty fresh bread.