Veggie Bolognese with Chickpea Pasta
Use up all your vegetable scraps in this thick and cozy Veggie Bolognese recipe! It’s easy to swap in whatever you have on hand to minimize kitchen waste. Serve it over protein-rich chickpea pasta for a hearty, healthy meal.
One of my biggest pet peeves is waste in the kitchen. The first time I worked on this recipe was after a whirlwind client photography project that left me with tons of veggie leftovers and nothing to do with them!
So I chopped them all up super fine and sauteed them down in olive oil and spices. Combined it with some tomato sauce and voila! Veggie Bolognese.
The key to this recipe is the ratio of veggies to tomato sauce. Based on what you have lying around, feel free to swap in and out ingredients in this list. If you end up with way too many vegetables, simply add more tomatoes, stock or water in the end before letting it simmer. Then just let it cook away until it’s thick and all the flavors have melded.
At that point, toss in some fresh basil and using an immersion blender or a high-speed blender. A quick note on the immersion blender, if you have one: make sure that your sauce is deep enough in the pan you’re using so that the immersion blender doesn’t splatter veggie bolognese all over yourself and your stove (speaking from experience here haha).
How Long Does the Veggie Bolognese Last?
This Veggie Bolognese will last in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to a month. I suggest only cooking the pasta that you’d like to eat with it in the next few days as the chickpea pasta hardens the longer it sits in the fridge. And if you’re freezing the sauce, freeze it without the pasta, then cook up the pasta you need when you defrost it!
What vegetables do I need on hand for Veggie Bolognese?
The cool thing about this recipe is how versatile it is! While I suggest having some carrots, celery and onion for flavor and some mushrooms for bulk, the quantities and variety are up to you. Feel free to throw in whatever’s in the fridge: any greens that you would wilt or saute (kale, spinach, chard, etc), eggplant, corn, brussels sprouts, broccoli, any color peppers, any squash, fresh tomatoes. Really anything at all! Make it your own.
Use up all your vegetable scraps in this thick and cozy Veggie Bolognese recipe! It's easy to swap in whatever you have on hand to minimize kitchen waste. Serve it over protein-rich chickpea pasta for a hearty, healthy meal.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 3 stalks celery
- 3 carrots
- 1 medium onion
- 1 medium squash
- 8 oz. baby bella mushrooms
- 2 cups packed greens (spinach, kale, carrot tops, whatever you have)
- 16 oz. crushed tomatoes
- 16 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup fresh basil
- 16 oz. chickpea pasta
Prep the Veggies: Chop up all the vegetables including mushrooms and greens into a very small dice carefully using a knife. Alternatively, you can use a food processor with the shredding disk.
Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add in olive oil. Once hot, toss in crushed garlic and red pepper flakes, if using. Stir and let cook for 1 minute. Then add in chopped celery, carrots and onion. Stir and let cook for about 10 minutes, or until softened.
Stir in the chopped squash and let cook for another 5 minutes until softened. Toss in the chopped mushrooms and stir well. Let cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add in chopped greens, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Stir together and simmer for 30 minutes. Add in the fresh basil and let cook for another 5 minutes.
In the meantime, boil water for the pasta and cook according to the package instructions. Drain, rinse and set aside.
Once sauce is cooked, use an immersion blender or high-speed blender to buzz up the sauce into a smooth consistency. Pour over the pasta and serve. Adding more fresh basil or parmesan, if desired.