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Tempeh ragù

This is my first time trying to make ragù with tempeh and it didn’t disappoint at all. After the one with lentils, this is going to go into my top list.

I followed as much as I could the traditional recipe, though (just sayin’ for the purists out there!) I used tamari and yeast extract to give the tempeh a meaty and umami flavor. Other than that, I am pretty sure my mamma would be proud!

Last but not least, the secret for a good ragù is time: the longer you cook it the better. If you use fresh tempeh, it’s worth making a batch and freezing it.


250g tempeh

2 carrots

2 celery stalks

1 onion

Olive oil for cooking

¼ glass of red wine

2 tbsp tamari

½ tsp yeast extract

600g tomato passata

2 bay leaves

½ glass of water

Salt to taste

Black pepper & nutmeg to taste


Crumble the tempeh and set it aside.

Finely dice the carrots, the celery and the onion. This is the base of the ragù, also known as “soffritto”. Stir-fry the veggies until soft with a generous splash of olive oil and a pinch of salt.

Add the crumbled tempeh, add the tamari and yeast extract to taste, stir and pour the red wine.

Let the wine evaporate whilst stirring, then add the passata, bay leaves, black pepper, nutmeg, and water. Cover and let it simmer over low heat for a good hour and a half. If you are short on time, you can reduce your cooking time to half-hour over medium to high heat, though it won’t be as tasty.

Once the sauce is thick, it’s ready to use: it’s perfect for a homemade lasagna but also to go with fresh tagliatelle. Buon appetito!

The Cooking Flea recommends:

If you are making a big lasagna tray, double or triple up the ingredients to have enough sauce.

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