It’s safe to say that bolognese is pretty much a staple meal in most households, and with so many people making a move towards eating less meat, this plant-based version of a classic provides a great, familiar meal that certainly doesn’t lack on taste.
Packed with lentils, this recipe doesn’t skimp on the protein either, and it’s topped off with so many herbs and fresh vegetables which make it not only taste delicious, but also super healthy and nutritious. For an extra health and protein boost, consider serving with whole-wheat pasta!
Ingredients (serves 4-6)
1 white onion
2 large carrots
4 sticks of celery
200g button mushrooms
500g cherry tomatoes
500g green lentils (pre-cooked – see note at step 6)
3 garlic cloves
3 tbsp fresh, chopped basil
2 tsp dried oregano
3 tbsp tomato puree
2 tbsp soy sauce/tamari
200ml vegetable stock
1 cup of walnuts
400g dried pasta
Heat a small amount of oil in a large, deep frying pan on a medium heat.
Peel the carrots, and finely chop them along with the onion and celery. Add them to the pan along with the garlic, crushed. Fry together for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, slice the mushrooms. Add them to the pan and fry for a further 10 minutes, until the mushrooms soften.
Once the mushrooms are cooked, roughly chop the tomatoes and add them to the pan along with the oregano, tomato puree, soy sauce and walnuts, roughly chopped. Fry for a further 5 minutes.
Once the tomatoes have softened and begun to release their juices, add the lentils and vegetable stock to the pan. Stir everything together and leave to simmer for 10 minutes – Note: I usually add pre-cooked lentils, however if using soaked, dried lentils, you may wish to cook them directly in the recipe instead. In which case, adjust this timing to allow the lentils to cook fully.
Season with fresh basil, salt and pepper.
Serve with pasta and enjoy!