Vegan red lentil bolognese

Vegan red lentil bolognese

It’s official, veganmania is in full swing, and it looks like she’s cool, young and beautiful. Whereas vegetarianism is still an old hippy, who doesn’t wash his hair. Why are we still so uncool? Plant-based burgers, vegan cheese and even vegan Happy Meals are popping up on menus across the land, and I still get risotto?! It’s so unfair! Don’t get me wrong, I’m appreciating the ever-expanding vegan menus with offerings that are more exciting and innovative – but where is vegetarian revolution? Stuffed peppers and goat cheese tarts are still thrust upon me at any given moment, as it seems our time in the sun has been eclipsed. Restaurants are killing two birds with one stone, and I don’t blame them, but it would be nice to have some sort of renaissance. Well, if you can’t beat them, join them. Here’s a vegan spaghetti Bolognese, because apparently I’m vegan now.


Vegan red lentil bolognese
Serves 4 (makes enough sauce for 6) / Hands on time 30 mins / Total time 1 hr 20 mins / V Vn Df Gf* 
1 tsp rapeseed oil
1 large white onion, peeled and finely chopped
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
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried parsley
700ml vegetable stock, I use 1 Knorr stock pots that are gluten free, vegan and dairy free.
3 tbs vegan red wine (optional)
8 cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves
300g wholewheat spaghetti or gluten free alternative
Extra virgin olive oil to serve
Fresh basil leaves to serve (optional)


Method
1. In a large cooking pot, sweat the diced onion, carrots, celery and garlic together in a tsp of oil over a medium heat. Season well with salt, add a dash of water and soften for 20 mins with the lid on, stirring frequently.
2. Stir in the tomato purée and add the tinned plum tomatoes using a wooden spoon to break them up a bit. Pour over the stock, add the lentils, cherry tomatoes and sprinkle over the herbs and ground nutmeg. Season well with salt and pepper and bring to the boil.
3. Once boiling, turn the heat down and simmer for 40-50 mins with the lid on and stirring occasionally to prevent the lentils sticking to the bottom of the pot.
4. After 40 minutes, fill a large saucepan with boiling water and add 300g of wholewheat spaghetti. Season the water well with salt and boil the pasta for 10-12 minutes (or according to the packet instructions).
5. Finally, take the bolognese off the heat and leave to stand for a couple of minutes whilst draining the pasta and dividing into bowls. Top the spaghetti with the bolognese and serve drizzled with olive oil and topped with a good crack of black pepper.

Vegan red lentil bolognese

If you’ve had a go at making my lentil bolognese or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com


V– Vegetarian    Vn– Vegan    Df– Dairy free
Gf– I use Knorr vegetable stock pots because they are gluten free but other stock pots/cubes may not be. Always check the label. Please substitute wholewheat pasta for a gluten free alternative.
❄ The bolognese sauce is suitable for home freezing once cooled. Consume within 3 months.



 

Spaghetti Bolognese

Quorn Spaghetti Bolognese
Quorn Spaghetti Bolognese

So Quorn, hmm. Not really sure how I feel about it if I’m honest, but it works really well in this dish, mainly because I adapted it from a meat recipe. When I was a kid, I used to get furious bolognese envy. I’d look over at my best friend Philippa shovelling forkfuls of cascading spaghetti into her mouth, flecked with delicious, oily meat and cheddar cheese. I would then woefully look down at my plate, a lone soggy stuffed pepper staring up at me, I wish I was dead… Okay so that’s perhaps a little dramatic, but I wanted to create a decent alternative to bolognese that would make little Corrie very happy. I now cook it all the time and everyone loves it, it’s cheap (about £3 per portion) and easy, although it does take a couple of hours in the oven so I always make it on a lazy Sunday. Enjoy!
(Oh and I use a hand blender in this recipe to blend the vegetables but just because I do this doesn’t mean you have to. Simply chop your veg up smaller, blending doesn’t make much difference, I just prefer the texture).


Spaghetti Bolognese
Serves 4 / Hands on time 30 mins / Cooking time 1 – 2 hours / Mf 
You’ll need: A hand blender/ food processor. A oven-proof cooking pot with a lid.
1 tsp olive oil
1 white onion, roughly chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
350g Quorn mince
150ml semi skimmed milk
150ml vegetarian white wine*
1 can plum tomatoes
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Large handful of black olives in brine, drained
300g wholewheat spaghetti
Extra virgin olive oil
100g Parmesan* or vegetarian alternative (you can actually use any cheese you fancy, I used my homemade goats cheese)
Handful of fresh basil


Mf– Meat and fish free  – Suitable for home freezing
❄ This 
bolognese is suitable for home freezing once cooled. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months. 
*Most wines are unfortunately not vegetarian or vegan, due to products used in the ‘fining’ process. Wine makers are also under no obligation to disclose if they have used animal products on the label. Vegetarian and vegan wines are available in most supermarkets.
* Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiani) is always made using animal rennet, therefore it is not vegetarian. Substitute for Italian hard cheese if applicable.


Method
1. Preheat your oven to 160°C/140°C fan/gas mark 3. In a large oven-proof pot, on a medium heat, sweat the onion, carrot and celery in the oil (if the onions start to stick, add a dash of water to prevent the vegetables from burning and to help them steam).
2. Once soft, take off the heat and roughly blend the vegetables with a hand blender or food processor. Return to the heat and add the mince and the milk. Cook for a few minutes until the milk has absorbed before adding the tinned tomatoes. Break the plum tomatoes up a bit with a spoon and add the white wine, olives, nutmeg and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper.
3. Put the lid on a jar and cook slowly in the oven for up to 2 hours, stirring halfway through.
4. Remove from the oven and serve on top of spaghetti, with torn fresh basil, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a good crack of salt and pepper.

 

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If you’ve had a go at making my bolognese or any of my other recipes I’d love to hear about it. @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com