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Rawlicious Spaghetti Bolognaise

March 8, 2015

Entirely raw and meat free, I have served this bolognaise with zucchini noodles

Entirely raw and meat free, I have served this bolognaise with zucchini noodles

When I travel to Melbourne, I always make sure I visit my favourite health food store, Terra Madre in Northcote. This place is a mecca for all things whole and healthy with both organic and non-organic products.

A while ago I tried a fabulous product in a jar – a walnut based “bolognaise” sauce – which was nothing like the real meaty dish but a great alternative for vegetarians and vegans alike. I am always bemused about the fascination of recreating meat dishes for vegetarians. The Buddhists do it so well with their soy proteins and gluten products. I guess it’s the same as my fascination for paleo-fying  naughty foods – no one ever wants to feel like they’re missing out.

The flavours are the same as a traditional bolognaise sauce; garlic, oregano, tomato and basil and the texture of the walnuts really does compare with the texture of cooked minced beef. This dish really works best with walnuts and no other nut as they have a softer texture. Perhaps pine-nuts and sunflower seeds might work too.

Walnuts  contain valuable omega-3 fats, gamma-tocopherol (Vitamin E), manganese, molybdenum, and biotin. They have high levels of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is anti-inflammatory, and the amino acid l-arginine, which offers multiple vascular benefits to people with heart disease.

Eating just four walnuts a day has been shown to significantly raise blood levels of heart-healthy ALA, and walnut consumption supports healthful cholesterol levels. As they are high in fat, walnuts are best stored in the fridge or freezer as they can easily turn rancid.

Walnut skins include tannins and flavonoids which can make them quite bitter so I always soak and dehydrate them, which removes the bitterness without compromising the nutrient value. Activating your walnuts is particularly beneficial to this dish for flavour alone.

120g walnuts, soaked in water for at least 4 hours

1 small clove garlic

100g sun-dried tomatoes

2 spring onions, sliced

100g capsicum

A handful fresh basil

1 tab fresh oregano, chopped

2 tabs nutritional yeast

1/2 teas salt

120g fresh tomatoes (about 2 small)

20g olive oil

cracked black pepper

Drain & rinse the walnuts and set aside to drain.

Chop the garlic, oregano and spring onions on SP 6 for 10 seconds. Add the remaining ingredients except the nuts and blend on SP 6 for 20 seconds until a paste. Add the walnuts and pulse until you get a coarsely textured sauce, not too chunky and not too fine.

Serve immediately on zucchini noodles. The mix will keep for about 2 days. It may leach a little water but can be easily stirred back in. I prefer this served at room temperature, rather than cold.

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