Tofu Bolognese

Tofu Bolognese

This bologense sauce is magical! It tastes better than the meat based bolognese sauce I used to make before we became plant based. You must try it!
It is a bit of work, but totally worth it.


For the bolognese sauce

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
  • 3 mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 8 - 10 cherry or snacking tomatoes (optional), chopped
  • 560g passata
  • 400g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • chopped fresh basil - as much as you like!

For the tofu

  • 350g firm or extra firm tofu, crumbled
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika powder (or cayenne pepper powder if you like it spicy!)
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast (aka savoury yeast flakes)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 and 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius.
  2. Heat 1 tsp oil in large pot or pan over low to medium heat. Once the oil is warm, add the onions and cook until the onions are soft. Add the garlic and cook for a bit, until it is fragrant and bits of garlic starts getting slightly brown.
  3. Add the celery and carrots and mix everything together. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes then add the mushrooms, mix, and cook a further 2 - 3 minutes. Add the cherry/snacking tomatoes, mix, and cook for a further minute. Then add the salt and dried spices and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring a few times.
  4. Add the passata and the chopped tomatoes. Cook, covered, for about 30 minutes on low heat. Stir it from time to time. Towards the last 5 minutes, add the chopped fresh basil.
  5. While the sauce is cooking, make the pasta (according to package instructions) and the tofu. To make the tofu, first mix all the ingredients under "For the tofu" except the tofu in a small bowl. In a large bowl, add the mixture and the tofu together so the tofu is well coated with the mixture.
  6. Line an oven tray with baking paper and spread the tofu on it. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes, taking it out every 10 minutes to stir so that it gets browned evenly.
  7. Once the tofu is done, add it to the sauce and let it cook, covered, on low heat for 5 - 10 minutes so that the tofu can absorb all the delicious flavours from the sauce.
  8. Serve over hot pasta and top with parmesan cheese (I love this parmesan cheese recipe from Minimalist Baker)

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