Sunday, June 19, 2016

Vegan Spaghetti with "Meat" Sauce - so Amazing no one will believe it's meatless!

I haven't posted a recipe for almost three months. This because I was feeling uninspired and in need of a break - and what a break it's been! Not only am I feeling recharged and ready to get back into the world of cooking and recipe development, I do so now with a whole new slant on things because I've become a vegetarian.

This isn't to say, for all you non-veggies out there, that I think any less of my classic Kitchen Witch recipes - not at all people - my food is DAMN good! So check out my recipe index for all your favourites.

But here's where I'm going to have some fun...

I'm going to take the best of the best of my favourite Kitchen Witch recipes and convert them into vegetarian or vegan versions of the original without losing the essence of the recipe, the taste, texture flavour etc. and I'm starting with my recipe for Old Fashioned Spaghetti with Meat Sauce.

The original, as pictured above, is every bit as delicious as it looks and is one of my family's all time favourite dinners. I've been making it exactly as is for so many years my husband has the flavours memorized - so I knew this was the perfect recipe to try an adapt and fool him with, because that's the other twist: I'm going to re-create the recipes and try to pass them off as the orginals!

That said, I have to admit sweet, sweet victory with my first attempt!

My sauce turned out so delicious and so identical to the original my husband was shocked! Better still, just like the original, it made lots and freezes beautifully so one recipe will feed a family of 4-6 for 2 or 3 meals!

But how did I do it?

The biggest challenge for getting the taste right was to try my best to duplicate the depth of flavour sweet Italian sausage brought to the original recipe. So I went to my pantry to see what I had, and when I spotted the chick peas I wondered if anyone out there in google land had ever made a version of sausage with chick peas.

Lo and behold, someone had! So I took an idea from Sophia at Veggies Don't Bite, for Chickpea Vegan Sausage Crumbles and modified the spices to re-create the taste I was looking for. I also subbed in Yves veggie ground round (LOVE this product!), and added sesame oil, and Tamari Soy sauce for that elusive umami/depth of flavour.

If you love a good spaghetti sauce, I hope you'll give this version a try. I think you'll be surprised by how amazing it is! Or come and visit me in the Casa de Kitchen Witch on Youtube! I always have wine and I love having company :-)

Vegan Spaghetti with "Meat" Sauce
Visit the printable recipe here: Vegan Spaghetti Sauce


  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 package Yves Veggie Ground Round (about 2 cups)
  • 1 540 ml tin chick peas
  • 2 1/2 tbsp Italian "Sausage" spice blend (see below)
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup sliced button mushrooms
  • 1 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/2 tsp each black pepper, dried thyme, dried oregano, dried basil, dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp brown sugar 
  • 2 large cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp Tamari soy sauce
  • 1 796 ml (28 oz) tin Italian plum tomatoes
  • 1 680 ml tin tomato sauce
  1. Drain the chick peas and dry well on a paper towel. 
  2. Roll the chick peas on the paper towel and remove the skins on as many of the chick peas as possible - they come off very easily. 
  3. Mash the chick peas until they resemble a crumble. Sprinkle with the sausage spice blend, toss well, and bake on parchment paper in a 425 oven for 20 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Saute the diced onion, diced celery and sliced button mushrooms in the extra virgin olive oil just until the onion is soft and translucent and the mushrooms begin to go golden.
  5. Add the garlic and continue saute about a minute until it becomes fragrant.
  6. Add the Yves ground round and the sesame oil and break it up in the pan using a spatula.
  7. Add the chick pea crumble, the Italian plum tomatoes, tomato sauce, the dried herbs and seasoning, the Tamari soy sauce and the sliced black olives. Stir, reduce heat, cover, and continue to simmer for at least 30 minutes. 
  8. Serve over spaghetti cooked to al dente. 
Italian Sausage Spice Blend Ingredients 
  • 1 tbsp coarse sea salt
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes for "hot" ( 1 tsp for "medium) (1/2 tsp for "mild)
  • 3/4 tsp ground celery or ground fennel seed
  • 1/4 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp dried thyme
Mix well and store in an air tight jar.