Spaghetti with spiced walnut bolognese – meat free recipe

Who says that meat free means taste free?

There are plenty of Italian meat free recipes which are incredibly delicious.

What I am proposing today is certainly not a classic Italian dish but something a little bit more unusual: a “fake” ragu’ or bolognese sauce which looks a little bit like a classic Italian meat ragu’ but in reality it is walnuts with vegetables. The trick to make it look like meat is to add a glass of red wine which adds to the taste and makes it look darker.

I have added a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg to the dish which combined with the walnuts makes it really interesting. My family liked it.

Give it a try and let me know!

Have a nice weekend!

  • Prep Time : 20 minutes
  • Cook Time : 1h 20 min
  • Yield : 4


  • spaghetti – 350 grams
  • walnuts shelled and halved – 200 g – 2 cups
  • carrot – 1 large
  • celery – 1 stick
  • onion – 1
  • red wine – 100 ml – 3.4 fl oz
  • cinnamon – 1 tsp
  • grated nutmeg – the tip of a teaspoon
  • hot water or vegetable stock – as needed
  • tomato sauce – 600 ml – 20 fluid oz
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil


Finely chop the onion, the carrot and the celery. Quickly whiz the walnuts into rough pieces.

In a sauce pan stir fry the chopped onion, the carrot and the celery for 2 to 3 minutes until translucent with 2 tbsp of olive oil.

Add the walnuts and continue cooking for a couple of minutes whilst stirring all the time. Pour the red wine and let it evaporate.

Add the cinnamon and the nutmeg and finally the tomato sauce and salt and pepper. Stir well and let it cook with the lid on for an hour over a gentle heat. Add hot water or stock from time to time if it gets too dry.

cooking vegan bolognese

Cook the pasta according to packet instructions and serve it with the sauce and some grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Obviously if you want a vegan recipe leave the cheese out.

walnut bolognese
Vegan walnut bolognese
Vegan walnut bolognese

11 thoughts on “Spaghetti with spiced walnut bolognese – meat free recipe

  1. This sound delicious! I’m not vegan but I like meatless dishes. I’ve used lentils but using walnuts is genius! Thank you


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s