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If you’ve never cooked with TVP before, this hearty spaghetti bolognese is the perfect gateway recipe. Protein-packed and loaded with sneaky veggies too, it’s a nicely balanced meal you can throw together fairly quickly and feel great about serving to loved ones (including yourself).

You will need

Serves 4

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 cup dry textured vegetable protein (TVP)*
  • 2 heaped cups mushrooms, cut into 1cm pieces
  • 1 small eggplant, cut into 1cm pieces
  • 1 tablespoon Italian-style herbs
  • 3 cups vegetable liquid stock
  • 1 can (400g) diced tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or sweetener of choice, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 serves of spaghetti, cooked to packet instructions
  • Dairy-free cheese of choice (optional)

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Directions

15 mins to prep

30 mins to cook

Step 1

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot and cook for 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent and fragrant. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute until aromatic.

Step 2

Add the TVP, mushrooms, eggplant and herbs. Cook for 10 minutes or until the vegetables soften slightly. If anything sticks to the bottom of the pot, deglaze with a dash of vegetable stock. 

Step 3

Add the stock, canned tomatoes, tomato paste and stir to combine. 

Step 4

Cover the pot and simmer for around 20 minutes. If the liquid is evaporating too quickly and the veggies aren’t cooked, add more water or stock. If the bolognaise still has a lot of liquid but the veggies are cooked, remove the lid to let the liquid evaporate. 

Step 5

Add the balsamic vinegar, sugar and season to taste. The bolognaise is ready when all the vegetables are tender and the mixture has thickened.

Step 6

Serve with spaghetti and vegan cheese, or as desired. 

Hot tip!

*Textured vegetable protein (TVP) is basically a crumbled soy product. And, like many soy products, it’s a blank slate sort of food item — simply soak and season to your liking and make it resemble whatever you want! But because it happens to be a mince-like texture, bolognese is an obvious choice. TVP can be purchased from major supermarkets and independent stores. 

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