Saturday, May 10, 2008

Squiddy cooks: Tempeh Bolognese!

I'll just make a quick announcement before I duck for cover. I'mnotahugefanoftempeh. There I said it. I'm waiting for my letter of dismissal from the vegan police, but at least its out there, in the open, shaming me with its every syllable.

Despite this, I wouldn't quite call it abhorrence, but lets use that word for the sake of wordsmithery, I still purchase a huge lump of the stuff every time I visit the Asian grocery, and it sits and sits and sits in the refrigerator, being poked my curious housemates and thoroughly ignored by myself.

Then I found Veginity.

I was pointed towards this website by an equally obsessive vegan foodie, and promptly directed Kristy's attention to it. She, in all her Sherlock Holmesesque wisdom, put the puzzle pieces together. Vegan chef + ponytail = Mark from Vegetarian Orgasm (R.I.P). If you ever experienced V.O, you would have been a fool not to sample the delicious cakes on offer, and I'll assume that no fools are reading this blog, because we all know fools cant do Internet. So it was most exciting to learn that Mark is still out there, cooking up a storm and keeping the fires of vegan goodness glowing, or whatever.

Whilst some of the recipes require a membership to view, quite a few are free! And on of the freebies was for a delicous sounding tempeh bolognese. Delicious to everyone except me, I was thinking, but hey tempeh needed to shift out of the freezer, so lets give it a stab!

Tempeh Bolognese


Sauce ingredients

2 cloves of garlic

1 packet of Tempeh

2 onions

½ red chilli (to Taste)

50 mls Balsamic vinegar

1 can chopped tomatoes

100 gms Tomato paste

10 gms capers

100 gms artichokes

50 gms chopped sun dried tomatoes



1. Bring a pot of water to the boil on the stove.

2. Place the spaghetti into the water and cook until a knife inserts easily into it.

3. Dice up onions and mince the garlic.

4. slice the tempeh up into small pieces

5. Heat up some oil in a pan

6. Sauté off the onions and the chilli and cook off until the onions start to caramelize.

7. Add the tempeh and the garlic and continue cooking

8. Splash some balsamic vinegar in to the pan and coat the tempeh

9. Add some chopped tomatoes and tomato paste.

10. Add a little water if needed.

11. Add the capers, artichokes and the chopped sundried tomatoes and allow simmer to cook and reduce the sauce so it thickens nicely.

12. Take the spaghetti fruit and chop it in half.

13. Scoop out the seeds from the middle and taking a fork run it around the inside of the fruit to remove the ‘spaghetti’

14. Place the spaghetti on a plate a then top it off with the hot Bolognese sauce.

15. top with some capers as a garnish.

The only substitution I made was using proper spaghetti (actually it was buckwheat fettucine - which is just divine) instead of "spaghetti fruit" because I dont like my luck in sourcing things like that at the last minute. And I added a touch of white wine at the end.

In conclusion, the bolognese was delicious. I cant argue with facts, I actually enjoyed tempeh..perhaps it was because it was all crushed up and indistinguishable (I do believe its a texture associated issue) perhaps because the whole thing was incredible, with a good bite, richness and taste that just got better over time. The mouthfeel, also quite pleasant.

You should really suss out Mark's page for some quality sweet and savoury recipes. I'm currently saving my pennies for a membership!


Anonymous said...

I've gotta try that pasta =)Is it available from usual supermarkets?

Anonymous said...

I've gotta try that pasta =)

Buttons said...

Hey there! I think its just San Remo brand (not 100% sure, definitely one of the more well known brands) and is stacked with the wholemeal, spelt, etc type pastas. Maks sure you stir it around lots when it cooks as it has a tendency to stick! Let me know if you find it!

Anonymous said...

Thanks...sorry for the double post there hehehe.

Another Outspoken Female said...

I love tempeh and I haven't made bolognaise for years. I think I first had it at the Veggie Bar when it opened (20 years ago?!).

I like my tempeh to stay in nice crispy chunks so I fryit off first and add it back into the tomato sauce a minute or two before serving. Sometimes I add olives - it gives spag sauce the tang that cheese does.

Thanks for reminding me about this dish, will certainly be making it soon with buckwheat noodles this winter!