Cauli-Bean Bolognese with Zucchini Noodles

Looking for classic comfort food with a healthy plant-forward twist? This Cauliflower and Bean Bolognese with Zucchini Noodles swaps out the saturated fat in ground beef with richly flavored beans and cauliflower. We promise you won’t miss the meat! The secret to achieving the right meaty texture is browning the cauliflower and beans to a deep golden brown. We hope you enjoy this hearty and healthy Cauli-bean Bolognese with Zucchini Noodles!

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Ingredients

FOR THE CAULI-BEAN BOLOGNESE:

  • 1 cup pinto or white beans, dried
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cauliflower, separed into florets
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 anchovy, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs, whole wheat
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 crushed tomato 28 ounce can
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • as needed, salt
  • as needed, warm water
  • 10 basil leaves, torn

TO SERVE:

  • 6 cups zucchini, or other vegetable noodles
  • as needed, extra virgin olive oil
  • as needed, feta, crumbled, or parmesan cheese, grated (optional)

Number of Servings : 6

Looking for classic comfort food with a healthy plant-forward twist? This Cauliflower and Bean Bolognese with Zucchini Noodles swaps out the saturated fat in ground beef with richly flavored beans and cauliflower. We promise you won’t miss the meat! The secret to achieving the right meaty texture is browning the cauliflower and beans to a deep golden brown. We hope you enjoy this hearty and healthy Cauli-bean Bolognese with Zucchini Noodles!

Directions

FOR THE CAULI-BEAN BOLOGNESE:

  1. Soak the dried beans in the water for a minimum of 24 hours in cold water. Maximum of 48 hours. Drain and rinse a few times if desired.<\li>
  2. Place the drained beans in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the beans are finely chopped, about the size of a lentil. Set aside.
  3. Place the cauliflower florets in the food processor and pulse to the same size.
  4. In a deep saucepan, heat ¼ cup of olive oil and cook the chopped beans until they are a nice golden brown. Set aside.
  5. In the same pan, over medium-high heat, add the remaining ¼ cup of olive oil and add the cauliflower, stirring frequently and cooking until it is a deep golden brown. *This step of browning the cauliflower and beans is essential to achieving the right texture.
  6. Add the garlic, anchovy (if using), breadcrumbs, walnuts, and golden brown beans. Continue to cook over medium heat for another 5 minutes.
  7. Add the crushed tomato, chili flakes, salt as needed, and add a little warm water to thin if necessary. Add the torn basil leaves–cook for approximately 10 minutes.

TO SERVE:

  1. Blanch the noodles in boiling salted water for under 1 minute or until they still have a bit of a crunch.
  2. Serve the Cauli-Bean Bolognese with the veggie noodles, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkled liberally with cheese.

Note: This recipe can easily be made vegan by omitting the optional anchovy and feta cheese.

Recipe by Chef Barbara Alexander

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