This vegan fettuccine bolognese is a great alternative to a meaty pasta sauce!
Whenever I make a pasta dish, it’s almost always a paleo-friendly pasta recipe because I feel better when I don’t eat grains. But, I do feel better when I eat pasta (for me, it’s the most comforting food around… and, I mean, really, who doesn’t love a good bowl of pasta…?). I’m never sure whether to call the recipe “Paleo Pasta” or just call it “Pasta”. I know this sounds trivial, but really, I get stuck with this each and every time.
Now, this recipe (which by the way is sooooo delicious), is vegan and it’s paleo. When I first typed in the title, it was “Vegan Paleo Fettuccine Bolognese”, but that’s just too long and complicated for a recipe that’s easy to make. So, for this recipe I decided to use vegan, and omit paleo. I’m still not sure that’s the best title, but I guess this dilemma falls under the category of champagne problems…
Anyway, I used one of my favorite grain-free pastas (Cappello’s fettuccine), and I made an awesome vegan bolognese sauce by using my favorite recipe for simple marinara sauce and adding tons of finely chopped mushrooms, eggplant, and zucchini.
I’ve learned that often when I make a vegan recipe, my guests love it, but sometimes I see wary expressions on the faces of the meat eaters if I call it something with a traditional meaty name (like bolognese). But this time, the meat eaters enjoyed this vegan fettuccine bolognese so much, the meaty name was just perfect. Try this out the next time you want to cook something to both vegans and non-vegans… it’s just perfect!
If this recipe is your cup of tea, you must also try my Paleo Fettuccine Alfredo!
Along with all of this deliciousness, you also get great healing benefits from this recipe:
In Eastern medicine, eggplant is added to the diet when there is pain in the body because it’s great for relieving pain and reducing swelling. It’s especially good to eat eggplant when you are experiencing some nasty digestive issues. It relieves stomach pain, helps with dysentery, diarrhea, and painful urinary conditions. Eggplant has also been used topically to treat frostbite and canker sores… talk about a multi-tasking vegetable…
I love mushrooms. In Chinese medicine, mushrooms ARE medicine. They are herbs. They are one of the most healing foods around. In China, mushrooms have been used for many years as part of a natural cancer treatment. They are one of the best immune-boosting foods around. I used both baby bellas and shiitakes in this recipe. Shiitakes are probably the variety of mushroom that I use most. I love the way they taste and they help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. These shrooms also promote healing and have been found to fight tumors. In Asia, shiitake mushrooms are often fed to a patient who has just had surgery to help the healing process.
Zucchini cools your body off and makes you feel better during those hot days of summer. It helps your body release excess heat and it will make your mind feel more calm.
Basil has anti-viral and anti-bacterial capabilities. It also is good for settling your stomach, and it’s good at lessening the symptoms of the common cold and its accompanying cough. Basil is a spiritual herb — the scent actually calms you; you can boil some in a pot and let the aroma fill the air, you can just leave some around the house, you can toss a bunch in your bath water (I love to do this), or you can use an essential oil with basil to get some great calming effects.
In Chinese medicine, we use tomatoes to aid in digestion and to help detoxify the body. They are also good to combat excess cholesterol, lessen inflammation and curb asthma. Tomatoes can also quench thirst, and they can help fight some kidney infections.
Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….
- 1-1/2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 small eggplants, finely diced
- 3.5 oz shittake mushrooms, caps finely diced
- 8 oz baby bella mushrooms, caps finely diced
- 1 medium zucchini, finely diced
- sea salt and black pepper
- 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 lb pasta of choice (I used Cappellos, grain-free fettuccine -- see above in post for link)
- Preheat your oven to 400°F convection setting, or 425°F regular bake setting.
- Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Spread the eggplant, zucchini, and shrooms out on the sheets in a single layer. Drizzle oil over and toss a bit. Season with salt and pepper. (Try to keep each veggie in a separate area, so if one is done before the others it's easier to remove it from the sheet.)
- Roast the veggies in the oven until they start to brown and caramelize a bit. (Every oven is different, but my eggplant took 35 mins, the shrooms took 25 mins, and my zucchini took 20 mins.)
- Meanwhile, start the sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and basil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, then cook an additional 15 minutes, uncovered. Remove from heat and let cool a few minutes, then using an immersion blender, blend the sauce until it's smooth. (Alternatively, you can transfer the sauce to a blender and whiz it up -- just make sure you hold a dish towel tightly over the top of the blender instead of using the canister top, so that steam can escape and you don't burn yourself.)
- Cook the pasta al dente, and drain it well.
- Toss the pasta with the tomato sauce and top with mounds of the veggies. Toss it all together if you like before serving.