Vegan Cuban Bolognese with Zoodles
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Test Kitchen Approved Recipe

A traditional bolognese sauce gets a twist with a sofrito-inspired seasoning and crumbled tempeh; the tempeh is a great flavor carrier for the sauce. Instead of a traditional pasta dish, we offer an easy-to-prep method for making zucchini noodles—you don’t even need a spiralizer.

4 servings


  • 6 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup diced white onion
  • 2/3 cup chopped carrots
  • 2/3 cup chopped celery
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 lb. tempeh
  • 3 Tbsp. Cuban Island Spice
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/8 tsp. fresh grated Grenada Nutmeg
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 (14.5) oz. can diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 (14.5) oz. can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
  • 3 medium to large zucchini

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Heat 4 Tbsp. of the oil in a large saute pan or pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, 3 to 5 min. Add carrots and celery; season lightly with salt and pepper and cook for 2 more min., stirring occasionally. Add tempeh, Cuban Island Spice, and 1/2 cup water and cook for 2 to 3 min., crumbling the tempeh as you stir. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in almond milk and nutmeg. (Rub whole nutmeg against the surface of a small grater to grate.) Cook for 3 to 4 min. then increase heat to medium and stir in wine. Cook until most of the wine has evaporated, 10 to 12 min. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in tomatoes. Cook, uncovered, for at least 10 min. or up to 1 hour depending on how thick you want the sauce; stir occasionally.

Meanwhile, make zoodles using one of these methods: Use a vegetable peeler to shave zucchini lengthwise into thin ribbons then slice the ribbons in half lengthwise. Or slice zucchini into 4-inch long thin matchstick-like strips. Once the bolognese is done, heat remaining oil in a separate large saute pan over medium heat. Add zoodles, season with salt and pepper to taste, and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 min. Transfer to plates or bowls and top with a generous portion of bolognese.

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