Spaghetti Bolognese

Being a vegetarian, it’s always a challenge to re-invent a meat based dish. I used tofu to substitute the meat balls and the spices were just perfect. That’s what I like about tofu – it just soaks up the spices like a sponge. And so easy to make. This dish was a great project for a rainy afternoon.

The spaghetti sauce is one I make all the time. It has some red chilli powder in it for some extra flavour and zing. The brown sugar balances it out evenly. If you like, you can blitz the sauce in a food processor to get a smooth texture.

Recipe:

For the tofu balls:

450 grams tofu, mashed

1/4 cup fresh coriander, chopped

1 teaspoon red chilli powder

1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon coriander powder

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder

1/2 teaspoon ginger paste

1/2 teaspoon garlic paste

1/4 cup onions, chopped finely

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil

For the tomato sauce:

1/4 cup olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium green pepper, chopped

2 carrots, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

1 teaspoon red chilli powder

4 cups tomato puree

1/2 cup fresh coriander, chopped finely

2 tablespoons tomato ketchup

1 tablespoon brown sugar

Salt to taste

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Mix together all the ingredients for the tofu balls except the olive oil and marinate for 30 minutes.

Spread a baking sheet with the olive oil. Form the tofu mixture into 16 balls and arrange them on the tray. Bake about 30 minutes turning the balls after 15 minutes until they are browned and set.

To make the tomato sauce, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic, onions, pepper, carrots and celery. Sauté for about 5 to 10 minutes and then add the red chilli powder. Mix in the tomato puree and simmer over a low heat for about 30 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Add the ketchup, salt, brown sugar and the fresh coriander.

Boil some egg noodles until they are al dente and drain. To serve, heap the noodles on a serving plate and spoon some tomato sauce over it. Place the tofu balls on top. Enjoy.

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