Depending on where you live, it might be hard to come by gnocchi. It took us forever to find an egg-free vegan option and whenever they’re in stock, I make sure to add a package to the shopping cart. I mean, what could possibly be better than potatoes masquerading as some kind of pasta?
Nothing, that’s what.
The vegan bolognese is the star of this dish so however you make it, be sure to take your time and season it well.
This dish has just two components, the gnocchi and the sauce. The gnocchi isn’t very time-consuming but you can cook it in a variety of ways.
Boil it if you want, but I’m not a fan of soggy/mushy gnocchi.
Shallow fry them if you don’t do oil-free cooking.
Bake them in the oven if you want them crispy but want to focus on the Bolognese sauce. One guess which one I did!
I put them in the oven and if that’s what you want to do, follow these instructions.
*Preheat oven to 200c/400f
*Brush oil onto a sheet of parchment paper.
*Add garlic granules, oregano, smoky paprika, basil, salt and pepper to the parchment paper.
*Add gnocchi and give a few shakes until the balls are coated in herbs & spices.
*Cook 10 to 15 minutes, depending on desired crispiness.
Bolognese is basically a (vegan) meat based tomato sauce. That is the easiest way to describe it, but it tastes like so much more than that bland description.
For this vegan Bolognese, I decided to punch it up a notch with fresh tomatoes and vegan friendly red wine. But feel free to use canned tomatoes if that’s your jam, no judgment here.
Roasted red pepper
Yellow bell pepper
It might seem like a lot of ingredients for a vegan tomato sauce, but it really isn’t. Let me show you!
Add the onion, shallot & belle pepper to the skillet at the same time. Sauté until the vegetables turn a little transparent, about 5 minutes. Let your nose be your guide.
Add beyond burger and chop it up really well with your wooden spoon until it’s mince/ground in texture. Cook about 5 minutes, or longer if you want extra crispy edges.
Add the garlic and cook another 2 to 3 minutes, until fragrant.
Tomatoes and roasted red pepper go in the food processor first, run until smooth-ish, so there are no huge chunks but not so thin that it has no texture left. Make sure you check the label because some roasted red pepper has fish sauce or other fish parts in it. I like 1001 Delights from Lidl, but use what you want.
Add tomato paste and red wine to skillet. Stir until blended.
Add tomato & red pepper mixture and stir.
Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
Tip: If you use fresh tomatoes, let the vegan Bolognese simmer until the water reduces. You’ll notice in some of the photos there’s a lot of liquid at the bottom. That is the result of starting dinner too late and not letting the sauce reduce enough.
Plate your dish and top with vegan parmesan cheese if you choose, though it tastes delicious without any toppings or garnishes too.
For the red wine, I went with a local Romanian Shiraz that was semi-sweet and it worked well with the fresh tomatoes. If you use canned or jarred tomatoes, I recommend a dry red to off-set the sweetness.