The delightful Carly from Smaggle shared her recipe for bolognese recently, and got her readers to share their favourite recipes too. Unsurprisingly everyone’s are meat based, so today I thought I’d share my go-to recipe for lentil bolognese, which is so good I reckon even meat eaters would love it!
I jam-pack it full of vegetables based on what I have sitting in my fridge, although I always try and include carrot & mushrooms. I also tend to use leek instead of onion, but if you’ve only got onion on hand then that would work absolutely fine as well. This makes quite a lot of sauce, but if you can’t get through it all in a few meals then you can always freeze the sauce in single serves to use at a later date!
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 large carrot
- 2 tomatoes
- Can of diced tomatoes
- 2tbs tomato paste
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 2tbs balsamic vinegar
- 1tbs dried oregano
- 1tbs dried rosemary
- 1tbs dried thyme
- 5 button mushrooms
- Half a punnet of cherry tomatoes
- Can of lentils
- Finely chop the leek and garlic
- Dice the carrot and tomatoes
- Heat some oil in a large saucepan and cook the leek and garlic over medium heat for 3 minutes
- Add the carrot and cook for another 3 minutes
- Add the tomatoes, can of tomatoes, tomato paste, red wine, balsamic vinegar and herbs and stir to combine. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and leave simmering
- Grate the zucchini, dice the mushrooms and quarter the cherry tomatoes and add to the pan with some salt and pepper, stir to combine and leave to simmer until the carrots have softened (approximately 15-20 minutes). Taste occasionally and add more herbs, salt & pepper to your liking
- Meanwhile, cook your pasta
- When the pasta is almost cooked, drain and rinse your lentils and add them to the sauce. Leave to simmer for the last few minutes of cooking
- Drain your pasta and serve with the sauce and cheese (if that’s your thing!)
The sauce has a nice rich tomatoey flavour so even without the meat it really does taste like traditional bolognese! It’s a great way to smuggle vegetables if need be too! It’s a perfect meal to cook up on a Sunday afternoon as it will fill your house with delicious cooking smells and set you up with leftovers for Monday night as well!
I’d love to hear about your bolognese recipes, do you have a special ingredient or two that makes yours extra special? Have you tried making a meat-free version before?