Thursday, October 1, 2009

Walnut Bolognese Sauce

I've been a wee bit lazy the past couple of days, and haven't gone out to buy more olive oil, onions, and a few other kitchen staples. So, when it came time to make something to eat today, I felt I would be inventive (rather than leave the house, horror!)

I felt like a pasta, but I like my pasta rich & a little olive oil-y, but we only had about 1 teaspoon left. So, I thought maybe the oilyness of walnuts would satisfy my rich pasta craving, and made this up.

It kinda has that what-is-that texture that regular bolognese does, but doesn't taste much like it (I think, I can't remember).

(Once again, sorry for dodgy photos, can't wait for summer and eating dinner during daylight!)

Walnut Bolognese Sauce
For 4 people

Ingredients (the things in brackets are what I would have used if I hadn't been too lazy to shop!)
1/2 leek (or 1 large onion) sliced finely
1 tbspn olive oil
Couple of sprigs of thyme (or whatever herbs you feel like)
Bay leaf
1/2 cup walnuts
Large handful of beans - say, 30 or 40? (or some other green veg like asparagus or something)
1 tbspn vodka (trust me)
Pinch of ground cinnamon
800g tin of tomatoes


First you want to bash the walnuts in a mortar & pestle till they're the consistency of breadcrumbs. (Or wizz them in a food processor, whatever, I don't care).

It will look like this. Arty shot.

While you're at it, slice the onion/leek and the green beans - if you slice the beans lengthways it will look prettier, but you'll also be more likely to cut yourself so take care.

Great. Now, fry the leek/onion until soft & slightly browned.
Chuck in the beans & walnuts, and turn the heat down and cook for about 5 until the walnuts seem toasty.
Splosh in the vodka (or, if you don't believe me, a bit of wine).
When the vodka/wine has sizzled away, add the other stuff, and let the sauce simmer for at least 30 mins.

Mmm. That's all.

P.S. - this is not quite as 'meaty' as you would expect a bolognese to be - I guess you could add some mashed up tempeh or something if you wanted, too.


  1. Ohh yum! I usually use a can of brown lentils for a "meaty" bolognaise, but will have to try this way! Please explain.

  2. Yeah I dunno... I just found the vodka in another recipe. It totally works!!!

  3. Sounds great! I cant get enough of cashew based pasta sauces but really should branch out to other nuts :-)