Rigatoni Tempeh Bolognese


This Rigatoni Tempeh Bolognese is the perfect example of what we call an “I Love You” meal. It’s rich, tomatoey, saucy properties envelope your senses like a warm hug, expressing everything you want to say in just one bite. Tasty, easy and the perfect weeknight meal – it always comes highly requested by our partners despite it’s simplicity. When words fail, express your feelings with this satisfyingly hearty Bolognese!

What you need

Pasta bowl 

Slotted spoon

Serving spoon 

Individual bowls



Chopping board




1 carrot, diced

1 onion, diced

1 cup mushrooms, diced

1 stick celery, diced

3 cloves garlic, crushed

2x 300g blocks tempeh

2 tbsp. olive oil

½ cup red wine

2 tsp. beef bouillon paste

2 cups water

1 tsp. Vegemite 

1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp. nutritional yeast

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. dried thyme

1 tsp. sugar

500g rigatoni

Salt & pepper, to taste


Vegan parmesan, to serve

Fresh basil

Chilli oil (the blasphemy!)


Step 1

Fill a small saucepan with water and bring to boil. Place the two blocks of tempeh in the water and boil for about 5 minutes. Once done, remove from water, let cool and then crumble into small mince-like pieces with your hands. 

Step 2

Heat olive oil in a pot on medium heat and add carrot, onion, celery and mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes or until onions are translucent. 

Step 3

Add crumbled tempeh and cook for 3 minutes or until edges start to brown. 

Step 4

Add tomato paste and cook through for a further 3 minutes before adding the oregano and thyme. 

Step 5

Deglaze the pot with the red wine, then add the remainder of the sauce ingredients and stir through. Cook on medium-low heat for 45 minutes. Taste the sauce for seasoning and adjust. If the sauce appears too thin – cook uncovered for a further 5-10 minutes until the sauce reaches desired consistency. 

Step 6

Once sauce is done, cook rigatoni as per packet instructions and drain.

Step 7

Serve pasta with a generous amount of Bolognese on top. Optional: sprinkle with vegan parmesan, basil leaves and freshly cracked pepper (or chilli oil). Buon appetito!


  • Boiling your tempeh prior to cooking with it helps to get rid of the bitter taste!
  • Simmer, simmer, simmer: If you’re making this for a weeknight dinner and just want to have a medium effort, nourishing meal ASAP, then the recipe above is perfect for you. But if you have time, let this sauce simmer over low heat for an extra hour or two, topping up with extra water if necessary. Bolognese, like ragu, tastes better the longer it is cooked. It tastes even better the following day!
  • Little bit of leftover sauce? Our favourite childhood treat was Bolognese on toast with a slice of melted cheese for breakfast. It was preferable to the pasta the night before, if we’re being honest. Try it! 
  • Lots of leftover sauce? Make a larger batch and freeze it to use for your next pasta meal! Pasta doesn’t always freeze the best (depending on how it’s stored, the edges can dry up), so we recommend just freezing the sauce and serving with a fresh batch of cooked pasta. 
  • Vegemite: Tell us you’re Australian without telling us, right? The Vegemite here acts like beef bouillon paste in this recipe, adding saltiness, richness and umami. If you don’t like Vegemite, trust us – you won’t taste it! And if you don’t have Vegemite where you are, you can use any yeast extract, or swap for a beef bouillon paste. Miso paste will also work as a suitable substitute.

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