There is nothing more comforting than a nice big bowl of bolognese, and this (vegan-friendly), lentil bolognese is packed with nutrition and fills you with warm, fuzzy feelings.
I love serving this with pasta or on a bed of steamed greens, but it's also super delicious served over a baked sweet potato - the ultimate comfort food!
This bolognese with blow your none-veggie friends away, with its rich tomato sauce and soft but slightly 'meaty lentils'.
Quantities below will serve about 6, or if you're just making it for 2, freeze the rest so you are all ready for your next bolognese fix.
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 large flat mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 small white onion, roughly chopped
1 small red bell pepper, roughly chopped
3 sticks of celery, roughly chopped
3 garlic gloves
½ tsp veggie stock powder
Fresh basil, use the stalks and save some leaves for garnish
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
Pinch of chilli powder or cayenne pepper (optional)
Black pepper to taste
2 x 400g tins of precooked brown lentils, drained and rinsed. (roughly 500g of lentils once drained)
Splash of red wine (optional)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tin of tomatoes
1 jar of tomato passata sauce (700 mL)
Making of the Story
Blitz all the vegetables together in a food processor until everything is finely chopped and it has come together in a nice firm paste. Add your vegetable stock powder, scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed and then blitz again for a further few seconds.
Preheat a large, deep frying pan, add a drizzle of olive oil then add your blitzed vegetables to the pan. Leave to cook for about 5 minutes.
Add all your dry herbs and spices from Chapter Two into the frying pan and mix well.
Add your red wine and let it reduce for a few minutes on a high heat. Turn the heat down once the wine has reduced completely then add your lentils, balsamic, tinned tomatoes and passata. Stir well, then leave on a low simmer with the lid on for 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add salt or more chilli if you wish. Simmer for at least a further 30 minutes or as long as you have time for. As with any bolognese, the longer you cook it for, the more sweetness that comes out of the tomatoes and the more delicious the end product.
Serve with pasta or any of the suggestions above.
Written with love,