Every year there comes a time when the summer temperatures soar into the 30s and stay there for weeks; from that moment you’ll want to eat light meals, although ones which are still satisfying to the palate! And there is a dish, hot or not, which throughout Italy everyone loves to eat: pasta with Bolognese sauce. Here we suggest a fresh, light and tasty alternative to the usual Bolognese: a vegetarian version, a sauce which is delicious at any time of the year, and very colourful. It is prepared with a myriad of fresh, crisp, diced vegetables. It starts with the classic chopped celery, carrot and onion, and then you add a variety of seasonal vegetables, such as courgettes, peppers and aubergines to give a truly vegetarian Bolognese. In addition, to give a really fresh and fragrant touch, you can add some lovely, fresh, aromatic herbs (maybe straight from your balcony or garden), such as parsley or basil.
Half a yellow pepper
Half a red pepper
Half a green pepper
3 small courgettes
1 celery stalk
Half an onion
extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
Serves 4 persons
Wash and clean the vegetables, dice them and set aside. Make the sauce by putting the chopped celery, carrot and onion in a pan with some oil. Fry for a few minutes over high heat, then add the first spoon of tomato paste. Cook for a few minutes and add the peppers. Mix well with a wooden spoon, cook for about 10 minutes and add the aubergine and courgette. Stir again and in the meantime dissolve the other tablespoon of concentrate in hot water. Then add this liquid to the sauce, adjust for salt and continue cooking for another 10 minutes.
If you prefer, you can use tinned tomatoes instead of tomato paste!
The Italian word for Bolognese sauce is ‘ragù’ which comes from the French ‘ragoût’ meaning ‘stew’. The transformation of the word from French to Italian occurred during the fascist period, when you did not admit to the use of non-Italian words. So the term ‘ragutto’ became widespread in Italy, but it soon fell into disuse in favour of the now-famous ‘ragù’.