On my plant-based mission, it’s been hard to say goodbye to that crowd-pleasing weeknight staple, spaghetti bolognese. No need to feel deprived. We’ve created this deeply satisfying vegetarian version to rival a good old ‘spag bol’.
Let us know if it passes the taste test 😉
For the lentil and mushroom bolognese
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large brown or red onion, finely chopped
3 celery sticks, rinsed and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced
400 g mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp chili flakes (or as much as you like)
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 Tbsp fresh or dried rosemary
1 Tbsp fresh or dried thyme
1 cup red lentils
1 and 1/2 cups vegetable or mushroom broth (sub in one cup of red wine for a richer, more indulgent sauce)
200 ml passata
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp brown sugar
2–3 Tbsp Pesto Princess Red Pesto
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (this rounds out the flavour especially if you are not using Parmesan)
400 g ready-made gnocchi
200 g baby spinach
Parmesan or vegan cheese
1. In a large pot, heat the oil and cook the onion, celery, garlic and carrots over medium to high heat until soft. Add the mushrooms, chilli flakes, paprika and herbs and cook for a further five minutes.
2. Add the lentils, broth, passata, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Stir to combine and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the walnuts, nutritional yeast and Pesto Princess Red Pesto and cook for an additional five to seven minutes.
Remove from the heat, add the baby spinach and stir until wilted. Serve on top of gnocchi or spaghetti and enjoy.
Photography, Recipes and Styling by Michelle Parkin.