This recipe is adapted from NYC’s Natural Gourmet Institute.
- One 8-ounce package of tempeh, crumbled into small bits
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely grated or diced* (see note below)
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, finely diced
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano, dried thyme, or Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
- ¾ cup dry red wine*
- One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup, honey, or granulated sugar (optional)*
- 1 pound pasta (any shape)*
- Chopped basil or parsley, for serving
- Place the tempeh in a large high-sided pan (or Dutch oven) and add 1/2 cup water. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook until all the water has evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes. Then add 2 tablespoons oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Cook until golden brown and crispy, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove tempeh from the pan and set aside.
- Return the pan to medium-low heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil along with the onions, carrots, and mushrooms. Season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Cook until the vegetables are soft, about 8 minutes.
- Add 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes, and a pinch of nutmeg (if using), and cook for 30 seconds more. Then stir in 3/4 cup wine and simmer for 2 minutes to evaporate the alcohol. Add the tempeh back in, along with the tomatoes. Cover tightly with a lid and simmer gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Generously salt the water and cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Scoop out 1/4 cup of the starchy water and drain the pasta.
- Add the pasta to the sauce along with the reserved water. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed. Garnish with basil or parsley.
- Grated carrots pretty much melt into this sauce, giving it an earthy sweetness to balance out the tomatoes’ acidity. If you’re feeling too lazy to grate, dice the carrot instead.
- This is a good way to use up a bottle of wine that’s been open for a few days too many.
- I like to add a bit of sweetener to tomato sauces to balance out their acidity. This helps round out the flavors, but you can leave it out.
- As an alternative, serve this ragu over zucchini or sweet potato noodles, or roasted spaghetti squash. I also like it on mashed potatoes.
- Serving Size: 1/6 of the recipe
- Calories: 520
Keywords: vegan, tempeh, mushrooms, pasta, bolognese