Tuesday , December 7 2021

Rich Lentil Bolognese

By Nick Knowels, extracted from Proper Healthy Food by Nick Knowles


 2tbsp of olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced into ½cm pieces
2 celery sticks, diced into ½cm pieces
½ tbsp of fresh or dried oregano, finely chopped
3–4 rosemary sprigs
3–4 thyme sprigs
1 garlic clove, crushed
200ml of full-bodied red wine
400g of tin green lentils, rinsed and drained
2 x 400g of tins chopped tomatoes
1tbsp of tomato purée
2tsp of sugar; 1 bay leaf
360g of dried spaghetti (or other pasta of your choice)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
grated Parmesan (if not required to be vegan), to serve;
basil leaves, to serve

Serves Four

Prep time: 25 minutes | Cooking time: 1 hour


1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a low heat and add in the onion along with a pinch of salt and splash of water, then sweat for 10 minutes until really soft. Stir through the carrots, celery and oregano. Tie the rosemary and thyme stems together with kitchen string and add to the pot. Continue to cook, over a low heat, for a further 15 minutes. Stir through the garlic and soften for a further minute before pouring in the red wine. Simmer until the liquid has reduced by half, 1–2 minutes. Next, tip in the lentils, chopped tomatoes, tomato purée and sugar. Season well and bring the pot to a boil. Nestle in the bay leaf and reduce to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened slightly

2. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta for 6–8 minutes until ‘al dente’, then drain

3. Remove the herb bundle from the sauce and pour the Bolognese over the drained pasta and toss to coat it well. Serve with Parmesan (if using) and basil leaves scattered over.


Recipe published in Feast, issue 13.

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