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Zucchini Ribbon Bolognese

I have just returned from yet another food-filled weekend spent in Edinburgh. I had the biggest double scoop of ice-cream at The Chocolate Tree yesterday, and my mildly lactose-intolerant stomach doesn’t seem to be too forgiving at the moment. I will be sharing these food adventures with everyone in a later post, but for now, let me introduce a vegan and gluten-free version of spaghetti bolognaise!

As a child, I loved spaghetti bolognaise. It was the kind of dish that had the ability to comfort me whenever I ate it- I loved the rich, meaty sauce and the spools of pasta that I would happily twirl onto a spoon and straight into my mouth. If my love for meat during my childhood could be symbolized by a specific food, it would either have to be a Chinese barbecued pork bun, or spaghetti bolognaise. After I entered my teenage years, I gave up meat and dipped my toes into a happier and healthier lifestyle, and said goodbye to my previously meat-laden diet and spaghetti bolognaise. It was only last week that, to my delight, I discovered that a vegan and gluten-free spaghetti bolognaise is indeed possible, and oh so tasty!

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Zucchini Ribbon Bolognese
Part 1: Lentil Sauce
*serves 4-5
1 cup dried French lentils
2 cups water
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves (even more if you desire!), minced or sliced
2 15 oz cans crushed tomatoes
5 small-medium zucchinis
basil, to taste
thyme, to taste
sea salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil and some garlic oil

Bring 2 cups of water in a medium pot to a boil on medium-high heat.

Add the lentils and cook on medium heat until they’re soft and thoroughly cooked- around 30 minutes.

While the lentils are cooking, sauté the onion and garlic cloves in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook until the onion is soft and translucent and the garlic is fragrant.

Pour the crushed tomatoes into the pan, and simmer on low heat. Stir occasionally, and add the salt, pepper, and herbs to taste. Cover the sauce and allow it to simmer while you prepare the zucchini ribbons. (Part two below!)

Once the zucchini has been prepared and the lentils are cooked, place the lentils in the tomato sauce and simmer for another 15 minutes, allowing them to absorb the flavour of the sauce.

Part 2: Zucchini Ribbons
*serves 2 hungry people
3 zucchinis, peeled and shaved into ribbons.
two cloves of garlic, minced or chopped
olive oil

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Place the garlic on the pan and cook until fragrant.

Add the zucchini ribbons and sauté until they slightly soften and carry the aroma of the garlic.

Divide the zucchini ribbons among the two bowls, and pour the lentil bolognese onto the zucchini. For non-vegans, feel free to grate some parmesan or gruyere. Enjoy : )

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*stay posted for the upcoming recipes: pan-fried asparagus with lemon and feta quinoa and peach, nectarine, and pecan crumble

Wishing you much love and happy kitchen adventures,
Gen

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