Lentil Bolognese

This is a lovely vegetarian version of the usual meaty Bolognese. It is very filling and healthy and really quite cheap to make. You could try it with red or green lentils. For an extra kick, try with a tsp. of dried chilli.

Servings per Recipe: 3 – 4
Preparation time: 5 – 10 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 large white onions
  • 4 big garlic cloves
  • 250g of tomato puree
  • 1 tin of diced tomatoes. Try a tin with herbs or garlic or chilli added.
  • 400g of lentils
  • 300g cabbage
  • 300g carrot
  • 3 fresh tomatoes
  • 1 red pepper
  • Half of a butternut squash
  • Few handfuls of fresh spinach
  • 300g peas
  • Good pinch of cracked black pepper
  • Large handful of basil
  • 4 tbsp. of mixed Italian dried herbs (oregano, bay leaves, dill, rosemary) use your taste.

Directions:

Get the lentils soaking in water for a good few hours before you use them.

Finely chop the onions into as small a pieces as you can. Mince the garlic cloves.

Heat a little vegetable oil in a pan and warm the onions and garlic together very gently for about 7 minutes.

Add in the tinned tomato, tomato paste, and dried herbs. Stir together and heat together for a little longer.

Finely chop the red pepper and make sure it is deseeded. You could chargrill it on the hob and remove the skin and use it this way, or just chop it and add it to the mix.

Finely chop the cabbage. Add this in and chop the squash as small as possible, adding this. Grate the carrot finely, add the carrot, and give everything a good mix. Cook this for a few minutes.

Chop the fresh tomatoes and add these.

Cook for 5 minutes or so on a high heat so the liquid is reduced.

Add in the lentils, peas, and basil.

Stir well and cook for another twenty minutes or so or until the lentils are tender and not hard.

You could serve this with pasta or eat it as is. It is also delicious with thick home-made potato wedges to dip. Try this easy recipe for them: chop a potato into wedge shapes and put in boiling water for around ten minutes. Take them out and drain them. Drizzle with olive oil, minced garlic, a pinch of paprika and salt and pepper. Put in the oven at 220C and cook for forty minutes. Serve!

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