Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese & Parmesan

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Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese

Dear yogis,

Here’s a vegan spin on an Italian classic. The trick to getting the texture and flavor required of a classic Bolognese sauce is the smokiness and consistency of the toasted and slightly chopped sunflower seeds. The omission of garlic and reduction of onion from classic recipes is to keep the recipe yogic. This one’s a real crowd-pleaser. Enjoy!

Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese
Serves 5

½ kilo raw unshelled sunflower seeds
½ cup dried Italian herbs (rosemary, oregano, basil, marjoram, thyme, savory)
3 tablespoons cooking oil
¼ large Spanish/White onion
4 stalks celery
5 carrots, diced small
1 cup red wine
2 bay leaves
800 grams tomatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks (or eighths)
1 kg spaghetti, fettuccini, linguini, or tagliatelle

Pulse sunflower seeds in food processor until you have a chunky grain
Pulse onion and celery together in food processor until you have them finely chopped
Toast sunflower seeds, dried Italian herbs, and a pinch of salt in a large pot until seeds are browned
Add cooking oil and cook for a minute to infuse oil
Add celery and onion mixture and cook until onions are golden
Add carrots and cook for about three minutes
Add wine, salt and tomatoes, mix, and bring sauce to a boil
Add bay leaves, lower the heat, and place the lid on the pot
Cook on low heat for 1.5-2 hours

Boil pasta in salted water with oil according to instructions
Drain pasta and….
If you’re a purist, serve it starchy and delicious, full of vitamin love
If you want something easier to digest and lighter, rinse your spaghetti with cold water
*optional: You can toss the pasta with some olive oil or black pepper to taste

Mix sauce with pasta immediately before serving.

Vegan Parmesan

½ cup raw nuts/seeds
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
Pinch of salt

Pulse in a food processor or magic bullet until you have it down to a fine powder.

I think the best nuts to use are cashews or macadamia nuts. They’re fatty and flavorful. They also tend to be the more expensive ones, so feel free to use mostly sunflower seeds with any combination of cashews, macadamia nuts, walnuts, or almonds. Peanuts have a more distinct flavor and are therefore discouraged for getting that parmesan flavor.

If you don’t have nutritional yeast, you could also use an MSG-free vegetable stock powder, though that flavor also may overwhelm.

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