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Meaty Vegan Bolognese

If you’re the type who loves (or used to love) meat for its rich flavour and texture, this is for you. That’s the thing: usually, when people switch over to plant-based foods, the foods they miss the most have strong flavours and textures. So the challenge is to reintroduce those elements to your plant-based cooking.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian


  • 6 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped
  • 1 stick celery diced
  • 1 medium carrot diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups dry soy mince (TVP)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari)
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes or 2, if you prefer a more saucy bolognese
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp miso paste (optional)
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste


  • Soak the dried shiitake mushrooms in 1.5 cups freshly boiled hot water, and put a plate on top to keep the steam from escaping. Don't discard the soaking water!
  • Heat the olive oil in a saucepan or large skillet over medium heat, and add the onions. Cook for a few minutes until softened.
  • Add the carrots, celery and garlic, and cook, stirring, until soft.
  • Stir in the dry soy mince, then add the soy sauce and red wine, stirring to absorb.
  • Add the can(s) of chopped tomatoes, and mix along with the sugar (to offset the acidity) and mixed herbs.
  • In a small bowl, mix the miso paste with some of the vegetable stock, then add it into the rest of the vegetable stock.
  • Now stir the vegetable stock into the bolognese mix, and add the soaking water from the shiitake mushrooms.
  • Finely chop the rehydrated shiitake mushrooms and mix them in.
  • Add the smoked paprika, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve over pasta of your choice: spaghetti is the obvious option :)