Sometimes we all need a big comforting pasta dish and this lentil bolognese is my current go-to.
I used to love a good bolognese but needed to find a replacement for the minced beef since I am no longer eating meat. I tested a few recipes first to see what ingredient would be a good substitute and the green lentils proved to be the winner as they give a good texture.
The red wine in the dish is optional, however, I find it lends a great depth of flavour to the dish so I would recommend keeping it in but the choice is entirely yours.
Lentils are high in soluble and insoluble fibre, both of which help keep the digestive system running smoothly. Lentils are also a great source of vitamin B1 which keeps the nervous system healthy.
-1 Tbsp. olive oil
-1 small onion, peeled and finely diced
-2 garlic cloves, crushed
-2 carrots, scrubbed (or peeled), topped & tailed and finely diced
-2 celery stalks, topped & tailed, cleaned and finely diced
-1/4 cup red wine (optional)
-2 Tbsp. tomato puree
-1 x 400g tin of green lentils, drained and rinsed well
-1 cup chestnut mushroom, cleaned and quartered
-1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
-250ml – 500ml of water
-1 tsp. mixed dried herbs
-2 x bay leaves
-2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
-salt & pepper to taste
-small handful of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
How To Make
Place the oil in a large saute or frying pan and warm over a medium heat.
Once the oil has warmed, add the onion, celery and carrot and cook gently for 4-5 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
Add the red wine if using and cook until wine reduced by half.
Next, add the tomato paste and cook for about 4 minutes, stirring often.
Add the lentils, mushrooms, tinned tomatoes, herbs and about 250ml of water.
Leave the bolognese to simmer for 30-40 minutes until thickened and vegetables are cooked. If the sauce is too thick/dry add more water.
About 5 minutes before removing the sauce from the heat add the balsamic vinegar and stir through the sauce.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with gluten-free pasta and sprinkle over some fresh basil if using.