Polenta Cakes with Tempeh Bolognese! Crispy polenta topped with a meaty, vegan ragu. Healthy comfort food!
Crispy Polenta Cakes
- 1 tube pre-cooked polenta, sliced into 1/2” circles
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1–2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 (8 ounce) package tempeh
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 carrots, finely chopped
- 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional, or more/less)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup red wine (can sub vegetable broth)
- 1 (28 ounce can) crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- Make the bolognese. Using a box grater, crumble the tempeh to resemble crumbs. If you don’t have a box grater, finely chop the tempeh.
- Heat the olive oil in a dutch-oven or large stock-pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sweat for 5 minutes until translucent and slightly tender. Add in the tempeh and gently fry until crispy and slightly golden, about 8-10 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic, carrots and celery and cook for an additional 5 minutes until vegetables are just softened. Stir in the dried herbs.
- Add the tomato paste and stir constantly until the paste is mixed well into all the vegetables. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the red wine (or vegetable broth), using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned vegetable bits. Cook until most of the liquid has cooked off, about 4-5 minutes.
- Stir in the crushed tomatoes, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook, stirring often, for 45-60 minutes until sauce is thick and reduced. Add in salt (I usually start with 1/2 teaspoon and go from there) and stir in the parsley.
- About 15 minutes before the bolognese is done, make the polenta cakes. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat (I love my cast-iron).
- Lightly dust the polenta circles in the flour, then add to the heated pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side until crispy and golden brown. Transfer to a plate, then serve with tempeh bolognese. Garnish with more parsley, if desired.