Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My first Italian love, vegetarian Bolognese

I didnt know the difference between Spaghetti, Pasta, Penne, Macaroni, Linguine and Noodles. Yeah, the first time I made noodles by boiling it and adding the pre packaged masala, I thought I made spaghetti and it was Italian. And then my knowledge bank grew and learnt the noodles is Chinese! And when I first ate spaghetti, I thought it was a modified version of the Chinese noodles. Years have passed and I have matured!

I landed in Germany on a Wednesday and it was pommes (french fries) day in my mensa (canteen). Come the first Monday and I asked the serving lady (Frau Fidan Batman) what was the menu for vegetarians and she told me that they have spaghetti with vegetarian variant of Bolognese sauce. Though it looked suspicious to me at first, I trusted the dear old lady and took it and she served it to me with a topping of powdered cheese. I never knew how to eat it and spilled quite some on my shirt and felt embarrassed about it and after coming to lab, I googled on how to eat spaghetti with the fork and spoon! I fell in love with this bolognese the very first time and asked the Germans what their version contained. It was minced meat and then I went to the canteen people and asked them about my bolognese and they assured me that it was just vegetables! 

As a curious connoisseur, I always want to cook what I relish and after years, I ventured into cooking Italian masterpieces and the first one was Bolognese. It originated in the beautiful city of Bologna in Italy and is listed as the most favourable and delicious spaghetti topping. I had a hard time finding the right recipe and so I went to the Italian restaurant near my house and found out from the chef his secret. The funny part was that, I did not eat in that restaurant. It is a heavy budget one for a student and so I told them that it is just to satisfy my curiosity and they bought it looking at my innocent face!

Finely mince carrots, mushrooms, onions and celery. The finer your cut them, the better the sauce will be. Heat olive oil and add the cut vegetables into them, all at one go. When they are sauted well, add little concentrated tomato paste and mix. This is the right time to add salt and freshly grounded pepper and a sprinkle of nutmeg powder. Stir and add 150ml of dry white wine and allow it to boil until the wine nearly evaporates. Now add in as much of tomato puree you want to and cook for at least 30 minutes on low heat.
Traditionally this sauce does not contain oregano, but a little flavour will not harm it. Italian prefer this with pasta, but I prefer this with spaghetti and garnished with generous amounts of cheese!

This is a picture of my first bolognese preparation. Appa was the first to taste it here in Germany! I am going to cook it tomorrow and will post the updated one soon!


  1. Bolognese looks vibrant and tempting :) Should be really tasty for a veggi lover like me. But dry white wine??!!! :( is there something tat I can replace it with?

  2. @Prasanna: Federweißer could also be nice option like dry white wine. Wastay? :)