You can use any pasta shape you like in this. I have made it with spaghetti before, but you really need a shape that the sauce can cling towith spaghetti, I found myself slurping up the pasta and having to take a separate bite of sauce. I much prefer rotini. Penne would be good, too.
A note about bolognese
Interestingly enough, authentic bolognese is nothing like the version found outside of Italy. The real stuff, which originated in Bologna (of course), has almost no tomato in it! It contains the mirapois (the trifecta of aromatic vegetables comprised of onion, carrot, and celery), beef and pancetta, meat broth, tomato paste, wine, and sometimes a splash of cream, and is almost exclusively served in lasagna or over fresh tagliatelle (egg-based, of course). Clearly a vegans nightmare all-around. Outside of Italy, bolognese has taken on the meaning of any standard meat sauce served over pasta. It still retains Italian authenticity thick, meaty tomato sauce served over durum wheat pasta is the Neapolitan style but in summary, our bolognese is not actually Bolognese.
Now that youve had your history lesson, lets get down to business.
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain it and set it aside. Get your vegetables chopped, the smaller the better. Carrots not required, but its great in meat sauce. You wont taste it in there, but it will add body and base flavor to the sauce.
Heat the olive oil in a giant skillet over medium heat. Dump in the onion and carrots and saut for 5 minutes, until the onion is tender and translucent.
Meanwhile, crumble up the tempeh with your hands, breaking it up as small as you can.
When the onion is soft, stir in the garlic and saut for about 30-60 seconds. I cook it until I can smell it. Next, mix in the tempeh, soy sauce, and water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn the heat to low. Cover it and simmer for 5 minutes. Then uncover, and simmer till the liquid is reduced.
Add the tomatoes and oregano and stir to combine. If you cant get the crushed tomatoes with basil, you can use plain crushed tomatoes and add 2T chopped fresh basil OR 2 tsp dried basil. If you have it on hand, add 2T chopped fresh parsley. If you dont have any, its no big deal. Cover the sauce and simmer for about 10 minutes (if you can wait that long) or until thickened.
Now, Im a little bit OCD/neurotic about meals with multiple components (like curry with rice, or sauce with pasta) because I like to make sure every serving has the same amount of both things. So what I like to do for this is put my drained pasta back in the big pasta pot, pour the whole batch of sauce over it, and mix it till all the pasta is evenly coated. See?
Spoon it up and top it with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast if you like. It is so unbelievably good. The tempeh chunks are chewy and hearty, the sauce is rich and flavorful, and let me tell you, the bowl of it you see below disappeared
Yield: 6 servings. Per serving: 376 calories, 9.7g fat (1.5g sat), 63.5g carbs, 10.8g fiber, 16g protein.