Best Vegetarian Bolognese

By Pesto Princess

Ingredients

For the lentil and mushroom bolognese

2 TBSP olive oil
1 large brown or red onion, finely chopped
3 celery sticks, rinsed and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced
400 g mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp chili flakes (or as much as you like)
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 TBSP fresh or dried rosemary
1 TBSP fresh or dried thyme
1 cup red lentils
1 1/2 cups vegetable or mushroom broth (sub in one cup of red wine for a richer, more indulgent sauce)
200 ml passata
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp brown sugar
2 – 3 TBSP Pesto Princess Red Pesto

Optional extras
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (this rounds out the flavour especially if you are not using Parmesan)

To serve

400 g ready-made gnocchi
200 g baby spinach
Parmesan or vegan cheese
Fresh basil

Method

1. In a large pot, heat the oil and cook the onion, celery, garlic and carrots over medium to high heat until soft. Add the mushrooms, chilli flakes, paprika and herbs and cook for a further five minutes.

2. Add the lentils, broth, passata, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Stir to combine and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the walnuts, nutritional yeast and Pesto Princess Red Pesto and cook for an additional five to seven minutes.

3. Remove from the heat, add the baby spinach and stir until wilted. Serve on top of gnocchi or spaghetti and enjoy.

Preparation Time:30min
Serves:2