1 tube pre-cooked polenta, sliced into 1/2” circles
1–2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (8 ounce) package tempeh
2 tablespoons olive oil
1cup 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
1cup red wine (can sub vegetable broth)
1 (28 ounce can) crushed tomatoes
1/2cup 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.