Last Updated on June 3, 2023
This is our vegan take on Spaghetti “Bolognese”, a.k.a. spaghetti “meat sauce” made with Italian “Sausage” Crumbles (Tofu). This dish is by far the most popular dish on our Instagram account! In early May 2019 when we posted the original one there was no official recipe. It became so popular that people kept asking us to provide the recipe. So we’ve updated the recipe & the picture which now it’s even better than the original one. The wait is over, here it is!
On this dish, the tofu “meat” part plays the important role. We make our sausage flavor tofu crumble then add to tomato sauce. It has some typical herbs and spices like fennel seeds, oregano, thyme, paprika powder, garlic powder, and onion powder. Besides the epic flavor, the trick of freezing tofu gives that “meaty” chewy texture that stands out in the sauce! It’s not a quick fix meal but once you have freeze tofu and defrost it to get it ready to use, the steps are not too complicated. After all, the result is fantastic and this is certainly a crowd pleaser that even carnivores will enjoy and they won’t even know the difference!
When it comes to tomato sauce, our go-to ingredients is organic passata (strained tomatoes) from Bionaturae. Of course, you can substitute with any other brands or types (strained or not strained.) We like using strained for the thick consistency (for Peter) and if we want a little thinner, we can easily control it by adding liquid like broth, water, pasta cooking water etc. Also, when we buy the one in glass jars, after emptying it can be re-used or re-purposed for something else!
This pasta dish is super tasty and comforting. It’s a instant classic that most people enjoy and love. Now it’s even better knowing that it’s 100% vegan. It’s also elegant enough for a date night or cooking for your special guests!
We personally would like to thank everyone for their kind words and confidence that you have in our dishes. It really gives us the motivation to create more!
[Italian “Sausage” Crumbles (Tofu)]---makes about 1 1/2 cup
- 1 pack (14 oz, drained weight) extra firm tofu
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp paprika powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2-3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
[The Rest of Spaghetti “Bolognese”]
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (plus more for serving)
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup minced yellow onion
- 1/2 tsp red chili pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup good dry red wine
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 24 oz passata
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 1/2 cups Italian “Sausage” Crumbles (Tofu) (see the above)
- 1/2-1 tsp sugar (optional)
- 1 tbsp minced parsley
Italian “Sausage” Crumbles (Tofu)
- Freeze tofu (keep in the package from a grocery store) for at least 48 hours.
- Defrost for 6-8 hours at room temperature. You can also defrost in the fridge which is safer and contamination free but it will take up to 48 hours.
- Drain water and squeeze the tofu to remove excess water (a lot of it!) Transfer to a large prep bowl. Use hands to crumble tofu into small bits. Set aside.
- Make dry herb & spice mix. Use mortar & pestle to crush fennel seeds. Add dried oregano and dried thyme then grind altogether* (see the notes below.) Transfer the herb mix to a small bowl, then add paprika powder, garlic powder, and onion powder. Use a teaspoon to mix until well blended.
- Add the dry herb & spice mix to the crumbled tofu. Season with salt and black pepper. Use a hand to mix well.
- Heat up a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Pour extra virgin olive oil then add the tofu mixture. Stir often as tofu crumbles tend to stick together. Cook for about 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Look for the dry and crispy texture. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Start preparing for spaghetti. Boil water in a large pot for cooking spaghetti.
- Meanwhile, heat up a large frying pan at medium high heat. Pour extra virgin olive oil and cook garlic and red chili pepper flakes for 1-2 minutes then add yellow onion. Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes. Pour red wine and let the alcohol evaporate.
- Add passata and season with salt and black pepper and add dried oregano. Mix well and heat it through then reduce the heat to medium low. Let it simmer until spaghetti is done (7-8 minutes.)
- Start cooking spaghetti in salted water for 8-10 minutes.
- In the last 3 minutes of cooking spaghetti, add the Italian “Sausage” Crumbles to the sauce. If the sauce is acidic add sugar to reduce the acidity (optional.) Stir well.
- Once the spaghetti is done, drain and transfer to the sauce. Give a quick toss.
- Serve with minced parsley on top and pour some extra virgin olive oil for the finishing touch.
- If you don’t have mortar & pestle, just leave fennel seeds as whole and use your palms to partially “grind” dried oregano and dried thyme.