This rich and boozy red wine bolognese is so quick and easy to make, and packed with flavour. On the table in 20 minutes - a delicious midweek supper!
🍴Why you will love this recipe
There aren't many dinners that aren't significantly improved by a good slug of wine, and this boozy borlotti bean and olive bolognese is no exception!
So straightforward to make, and ready in just twenty minutes, this vegan red wine bolognese can be either a easy weeknight dinner or a stunning main course for guests.
A classic base of onion, garlic, carrot and celery is simmered with red wine, olives, borlotti beans and passata. The sauce cooks in the time it takes your pasta to cook - this couldn't be any easier!
It is also perfect to batch-cook and freeze, so why not make up a double or triple quantity at the same time for very little extra effort, and stock your freezer with individual portions ready for supper emergencies?
📝 What you need
Borlotti beans These are deliciously 'meaty' and add a protein boost to this bolognese. They are fairly easy to find in tins at most supermarkets, but if you don't have any to hand try using cannellini beans, kidney beans or even tinned lentils instead.
Red wine should be good enough to drink but not your most expensive bottle! A medium-bodied red will go well with these flavours – not too heavy but reasonably acidic. something like a Cabernet Sauvignon would be excellent. Do check labels to make sure it is vegan, or consult the brilliant Barnivore app.
Olives gives a rich, savoury flavour to the red wine bolognese. Black or kalamata olives are ideal - I use olives from a jar for cooking rather than the more expensive olives in oil from the chiller cabinet.
Linguine is a perfect pairing for this rich sauce - dried pasta is almost always vegan but always check the label in case of egg powder.
You don't need anything fancy to make this bolognese - just a large frying pan and a saucepan to cook the pasta.
However, if you want to make it very speedy indeed, you can use a mini-chopper to very quickly chop the onion, celery and carrot. I use my mini chopper almost every day, for smoothies, sauces, soups and all sorts of quick chopping jobs in the kitchen. Mine is a Braun Multiquick priced at just under £50 which is great value for money if you use it as much as I do, but you can get even cheaper ones too that will do a similar job.
👩🏽🍳 How to make your Red Wine Bolognese
For a full, printable recipe with ingredients and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this page 👇🏼.
Finely chop the onion, carrot and celery, and peel and crush the garlic. Cook gently in olive oil until starting to soften.
Add the red wine and simmer for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, roughly chop the olives.
Add the drained and rinsed borlotti beans, olives and passata to the pan. Simmer for 8-10 minutes until thick and glossy, and cook your pasta as the sauce bubbles.
🔪 Top Tips & FAQs
Adjust the consistency of your sauce to your taste. If it looks a little dry add a splash of water, (I use the water from the saucepan of pasta). If it is still a little too liquidy keep simmering for another minute or two until further reduced.
Use a mini-chopper to finely chop the vegetables to make this even speedier! I recommend chopping each of the onion, carrot and celery separately for best results. Peel them and cut into chunks, then put them in the mini-chopper and pulse just a few times until they are finely chopped. Don't over-blitz or they will turn to a purée and you will lose the lovely texture of the sauce.
Yes, the bolognese sauce freezes really well so you can make up a big batch and freeze individual portions. The pasta doesn't freeze so well so I would recommend just freezing the sauce on its own.
This makes a full meal in itself, but if you're in the mood for a real feast you can serve this with vegan garlic bread, a crisp green salad or stea
To make an alcohol-free version of this dish you could substitute in vegetable stock or more passata for the same quantity as the wine.
Red Wine Bolognese with borlotti beans
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 2 sticks celery
- 2 cloves garlic (or 1-2 teaspoon ready-chopped garlic)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 12 black olives
- 180 ml red wine
- 300 ml passata
- 400 g tinned borlotti beans
- 160 g linguine
- Peel and finely chop the onion, carrot and celery. Peel and crush the garlic cloves.
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Cook over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes until starting to soften.
- Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Cook the linguine for 9-10 minutes.
- Add the red wine to the vegetables and let it bubble for a minute or two.
- Roughly chop the olives, then add to the sauce followed by the passata.
- Drain and rinse the borlotti beans and add to the sauce.
- Simmer until the pasta is ready. Season well with salt and black pepper, (taste and adjust as necessary), and stir from time to time to check it isn't sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Divide the pasta between two plates, top with the sauce, and serve.
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