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Leave the meat out of this flavorful "bolognese" pasta — you'll never miss it!

Award-winning food blogger Laura Wright has a new collection of vegan recipes out that will reinvigorate your entire cooking game. Imagine a vibrant plant-based diet that satisfies and delights, then whip up her healthy, imaginative and flavor-packed fare at home. This entirely vegetarian eggplant bolognese pasta makes for a hearty, produce-packed dinner.

I came up with this recipe when I had too many eggplants in my garden at the end of one really hot summer, just when the nights were starting to get cool enough to enjoy a pasta dish with substance. I love that this one is weeknight-simple, but lovely enough for guests, without question. Sometimes I toss a cup or so of cooked lentils into the sauce at the end for a hit of protein. I salt and rinse the eggplant to get rid of any bitterness, and to greatly improve the texture as well. The addition of some chopped olives really brings out the meaty nature of eggplant. I don’t particularly aim for meat-like results when I cook, but this dish goes in that direction in a very organic way.

Reprinted with permission from The First Mess Cookbook