The vegan summer crowd-pleaser

As lockdown eases you’ll find that the dining room is no longer in the house, it’s in the garden. So, dust off the patio furniture and string up the fairy lights because alfresco dinner parties are set to be this Summer’s biggest trend. Dinner parties can be a daunting prospect, so why not keep it simple and serve up a big vat of crowd pleasing Bolognese? Not only does my red lentil Bolognese make a tasty vegan summer recipe, it’s simple, delicious and could feed an army! Serve with homemade garlic bread, torn fresh basil and lashings of extra virgin olive oil, for the perfect vegan dinner party idea this summer.


Vegan red lentil bolognese

Vegan red lentil Bolognese
Serves 6 / Hands on time 30 mins / Total time 1 hr 10 mins /
V Vn Df 
1 tsp rapeseed oil
1 large white onion, peeled and diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery sticks, diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
1 can plum tomatoes
250g red lentils
1 tbs tomato purée
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried parsley
700ml vegetable stock, I use 1 Knorr stock pots
3 tbs vegan red wine (optional)
8 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
450g whole-wheat spaghetti or gluten free alternative (75g per person)
Extra virgin olive oil to serve
Fresh basil leaves to serve (optional)


TIP: This Bolognese is suitable for home freezing once cooked. To freeze, cool fully before spooning into bags or Tupperware. Freeze for up to 3 months.


Method
1. In a large cooking pot, sweat the diced onion, carrots, celery and garlic together in a tsp of oil over a low heat. Season well with salt, put the lid on, and sweat for 15 mins, stirring occasionally.
2. Add the tomato purée and the tinned tomatoes. Break the tomatoes up a bit with a spoon before pouring over the stock, wine, lentils, cherry tomatoes and sprinkle over the oregano, parsley and the nutmeg. Season well with salt and pepper and bring to the boil.
3. Once boiling, turn the heat down and simmer for 25 mins with the lid on, stirring occasionally to dislodge any lentils stuck at the bottom.
4. After 25 mins, keep the Bolognese cooking and fill a large saucepan with boiling water and add the whole-wheat spaghetti. Season the water well with salt and boil the pasta for 10-12 minutes (or according to the packet instructions).
5. Once the pasta is cooked, take off the heat along with the Bolognese. Drain the pasta and divide into bowls. Top the spaghetti with the Bolognese and serve drizzled with olive oil and topped with a good crack of black pepper and fresh basil leaves.


Vegan garlic bread
2 baguettes or ciabatta loaves (not too big they won’t fit in your oven)
150g dairy-free margarine
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1tbs dried oregano

Method
Preheat an oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400F/gas mark 6. Cut both loaves into slices about 2cm thick, being careful not to slice right through to the bottom, leaving the base intact. In a bowl, mix together the dairy-free margarine, garlic and oregano. Place each loaf on a large sheet of foil and spread the garlic margarine between the slices of bread. Sprinkle with salt and pepper before wrapping in the foil and placing on a baking tray. Bake for 5 mins before unwrapping and cooking for a further 4-5 mins until crisp. Serve immediately.


If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.


V – Vegetarian    Vn – Vegan     Df – Dairy free




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