Getting bored of spaghetti bolognese? Maybe you aren’t doing it right.
Spaghetti bolognese is one of the UK’s favourite dishes, yet everyone makes it different. We asked the 95,000 members of the Vegan Food UK group what their secrets were for making the best spag bol.
Top 10 Ingredients to Pimp Up Your Spag Bol
- Marmite. It’s the most popular thing to add to tomatoey dishes as it’s rich, salty and is full of B vitamins. You can buy it almost everywhere, the supermarkets even do their own brand versions that taste just as good. A teaspoon usually goes a long way, so don’t overdo it.
- Dark Chocolate/Cacao. A magical ingredient for spag bol and chilli, just a couple of squares of chocolate helps the colour darken and ups the taste factor. Plus you will now be one of those crazy people who puts chocolate in their savoury food.
- Use mushrooms for the mince. Shrooms are so rich in flavour that they work perfectly as the main mince ingredient. Just peel the mushrooms, blitz them in a food processor (or finely chop), and fry in oil of choice for 5-10 minutes until soft.
- Splash of Balsamic Vinegar. If you aren’t adding balsamic to cooked meals then you are simply missing out. A bottle can be found for just over £1 at the supermarket and a splash goes a very long way. Add to the sauce after you add the chopped tomatoes/passata.
- Liquid Smoke. Liquid what? Smoke that’s liquid? Yes and it’s used in all manner of cuisines now. It usually surfaces as a worthy ingredient when we want to make something meatier in flavour. A squirt or two onto your lentils, mushroom or soya mince is lovely.
- Soya Sauce. Commonly used in Asian food, it’s actually a very versatile ingredient. It’s another one that you can add to the sauce towards the end of cooking to deepen the flavour. Splash & taste is the best way to work out how much your spag bol needs.
- Red Wine. Just a cup of red wine is usually enough for the base of any sauce. Add it to the pan before you add your tomato sauce, but after you have browned your soya mince. Make sure you cook it on a fairly high heat for a few minutes so the alcohol is cooked out of it.
- Make it the night before. OK, it’s not an ingredient, but it is a great tip to allow the flavours to intensify.
- Nutritional Yeast. Is there anything that nooch doesn’t make better? The good news is that you really can’t add too much, but you can add too little (spoken like a true vegan). Add the stuff by the tablespoon into the sauce and stir just before serving. Don’t forget to save a sprinkle for the top.
- Coffee. We really need to slow down this obsession with coffee we have, but it’s just so good! It’s especially fantastic in spag bol, but just don’t go crazy with it. The last thing you want is your guests to say “this bolognese tastes like coffee!” You just want enough bitterness to bring out the sweet flavours in the rest of the dish…so just add a 1/4 of a cup of ready made coffee and see how you go.