VEGETARIAN PENNE BOLOGNESE

You may have heard of the Meat-Free Monday movement by now – an initiative to encourage everyone to eat less meat and eat more plant-based meals throughout the week. There are many benefits to a plant-rich diet, including reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and improved gut health.

Recently, some studies showed that reducing red meat intake in particular reduced risk of heart disease compared to other types of meat.

Whether you’ve been doing Meat-Free Monday’s already, or you’re already fully vegetarian or vegan, or you’re still eating meat but just want some ideas to have more plant-based meals, this recipe is simple, tasty and nutritious!

This bolognese uses textured vegetable protein (TVP) as a substitute for regular minced meat. TVP is essentially soybean meal – it’s packed with almost as much protein as regular meat, but with little to no saturated fat!

Ingredients:

  • 250g wholemeal penne pasta
  • 1 can (425g) lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup textured vegetable protein (TVP), rehydrated in 1/2 cup hot water
  • 4 small carrots, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 1/2 brown onion, diced
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil and add pasta. Cook until al Dante (Note: wholemeal pasta may take a bit longer to cook).
  2. Heat oil in saucepan, sautée garlic and onions until brown.
  3. Add carrots, textured vegetable protein and diced tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until carrots are cooked through.
  4. Add cooked pasta and mix through.
  5. Sprinkle parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast flakes (for vegan option) to serve.