This week I was craving a nice, comforting bowl of pasta. I turned to an old favorite recipe for vegan bolognese sauce:
The secret weapon here is textured vegetable protein (TVP). It provides a remarkably meaty texture and soaks up whatever flavored liquids you use to re-constitute it. The soy sauce here gives it a dark color and meaty depth of flavor. Best of all, TVP is a CHEAP source of protein. It doubles in size when re-constituted, and a cup of dry TVP, at just over a dollar, is certainly cheaper than a pound of ground beef (and I seriously doubt that your family would notice the difference).
This time around I added a stalk of celery along with the other veggies; I used one tablespoon of Italian seasoning in place of the herbs listed; and I subbed a can of Trader Joe’s Marinara sauce for the crushed tomatoes + tomato paste. Mushrooms would be a good addition.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil: $0.05
- 1 onion: $0.25
- 1 carrot: $0.08
- 1 stalk celery: $0.12
- 2 garlic cloves: $0.10
- Italian seasoning: $0.15
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes: $0.05
- 1 cup textured vegetable protein: $1.08
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce: $0.18
- 1 cup vegetable stock: free (homemade)
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast: $0.30
- 1 (28 ounce) can marinara: $1.79
- ½ cup fresh parsley: $0.59
- 1 lb whole wheat spaghetti: $1.39
=$6.13/6 generous servings
Can you imagine how much you would pay for this big plate of pasta in a restaurant?
Enjoy with a glass of red wine. It pairs well with a cheap merlot, like 2-Buck Chuck from Trader Joe’s
Also, here’s an old photo from when I first made this a couple of years ago:
It’s a photographic dish, and it tastes even better than it looks! Buon appetito!