Sunday 11 October 2009

Lentil Bolognese

Lentil BologneseWith homemade vegan garlic bread

This has been a standard in our house for years. I have already blogged this on my previous vegetarian blog but it was already vegan as long as you omitted the parmesan on top.

It's a great basic sauce recipe that is not confined to pasta, anywhere you would use a meat sauce you can use this: in lasagna, in baked potatoes, shepherds pie etc.. It's very versatile and so yummy. This is one of Finn's favorites, I first gave it to him years ago with rotini pasta and I guess the stripes of the rotini and the brown/orangy sauce made him think of tigers as he instantly dubbed it 'Tiger pasta' which it is now of course always referred to in our house!

I actually got the recipe from 'Baby and Child Vegetarian Recipes' by Carol Timperley a cookbook I still use a lot and found indispensable when Finn was younger. It's basically a standard bolognese sauce recipe replacing the meat with brown lentils. The recipe makes a lot, 8 adult servings, which is really handy as it freezes really well making it an easy dinner standby.

Lentil Bolognese:

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
Pinch dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped (optional – use 2 carrots if not using)
175g button mushrooms, quartered
2 tablespoons tomato puree
150ml red wine or water (I use water when Finn is having it...which is always!)
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce (make sure to use dark, should say dark on the label)
Salt and pepper to taste
pinch of sugar
1 large tin (400g) chopped tomatoes (recipe called for a half tin, I use a whole as I find it needs it)
2 x 400g tins brown or green lentils, drained and rinsed (can't find 'brown' lentils here, the tins labeled 'green' are actually brown in colour inside)

Heat the oil, add the onion, basil, oregano and bay leaf and cook till onions are transparent. Add the garlic, stir, then add the carrot, celery and red pepper, cook for a few minutes then add the mushrooms. When the mushrooms begin to wilt, stir in the remaining ingredients, bring to the boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 40 minutes, add more water if too dry but it shouldn't be overly 'saucy'. Allow to cool slightly, remove bay leaf, transfer to a food processor and blend till smooth.

I serve this with about 67g of pasta per person, as the sauce is quite filling on it's own. Some nutritional yeast sprinkled on top before serving is nice too. Lovely meal with the garlic bread and a nice glass of vegan red wine ;)

Makes 8 adult portions, 16 child size portions.


  1. Purrfect looking !!!! Go tiger!!! :)

  2. Thanks! (I always love your comments!!)


  3. I just blogged about how I love lentils! That looks so delicious, especially with the garlic bread in the background. Perfect food!

  4. Hi! I stumbled upon your blog looking for inspirations for dinner tonight. You have so many great recipes and beautiful pictures. I have decided to go with the lentil bolognese b/c I have the ingredients on hand... But I will be back to try more. Thanks!

  5. Thanks so much Belle! Sorry I was late to post your comment, I didn't see it in my inbox until now! Welcome to my blog, hope it worked out for you! :-)


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