Well tonight I veganised it, veganised it good!!
Instead of mince I've used mixed lentils and a little bit of tofu.
Every time I lifted the lid on the pan during cookingI couldn't believe how AMAZING it smelt, just like the one I used to eat, and the flavour was pretty spot on as well.
This does yield quite a lot of bolognese sauce, which suits me just fine as I always ensure I have enough for lunch the next day and a heap to freeze for a CBF'd cooking day!
It was such a crowd-pleaser that even my omnivorous hubby was delighted with it, so it's one of those dishes where the meat is not missed and you definitely feel less gross after eating the meatless version, and if anybody is on your back about not eating enough protien or iron, whip this up for them to shut them up!
SJ’s Lentil Bolognese
- 1-2 tsp olive oil, for frying the onion and garlic
- 1 small to medium brown onion, finely diced (depending on the size you may only need ½ the onion)
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed (I like HEAPS of garlic so I may even use 4 or 5 cloves depending on size, so whatever you like)
- 2 Tbs tomato paste
- 400g prepared or tinned lentils, washed and drained
- 400g tinned diced tomatoes
- 500g bottle of your favourite tomato based pasta sauce
- Red wine to taste (about ¼ -½ cup usually does me, but again whatever you like)
- 1-2 Tbs “Beef” stock powder or 1-2 cubes, I like Massel brand
- About 1 tsp dried mixed Italian herbs
- 2-3 bay leaves, again depending on taste
- A hand full of fresh basil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Sugar to taste, usually about 1-2 tsp
- 200g good firm tofu, drained and crumbled
- Button mushrooms, I used about 5, so as many as you like as well as any other diced or grated veggies you may like to sneak in, I didn't as I wanted to keep the flavour more "traditional".
- 1 pack of your favourite dried pasta, I usually use spaghetti, but I ran out.
- Crusty bread (optional)
- Parmazano imitation parmesan cheese (optional)
- Heat up oil in a large frying pan. Add onion and fry gently until translucent, about 2 minutes.
- Add garlic and tomato paste and cook for just a minute or so.
- Add the prepared lentils, tomatoes, pasta sauce and wine, let simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- This next step is optional. I transfer up the mixture into a mixing bowl and give it a bit of a whizz with my immersion blender for a few seconds, just to make it a bit thicker and less chunky. Transfer the mix back in the pan.This can also be done in a bench top blender or food processor.
- Now add the “beef” stock, herbs, bay leaves, tofu, mushrooms, any other veggies your using, salt (may not be needed, just taste first), pepper and sugar. Stir well and let simmer for as long as you like, 10 minutes would be fine, but I like to do it for at least ½ an hour.
- And Viola! Serve with spaghetti or other pasta of choice (white, wholemeal or gluten free), bread and Parmazano if desired.
This mix would also be good as a lasagne base, but stay tuned, my lasagne is on the way!