Holly White’s lentil Bolognese: ‘I can’t believe this is vegan’
What’s for dinner? When I serve this, the reaction is always: ‘I thought vegan food was boring but this is delicious’
Holly White’s lentil Bolognese
Holly White is a vegan food and lifestyle blogger.
When I first transitioned to vegan cooking I had to get creative when it came to re-imagining my old staples. My typical diet previously involved a lot of shepherd’s pie, lasagne and spaghetti Bolognese and I wanted something that gave that same wholesome, comforting feel.
This lentil Bolognese does just that. It’s healthy vegan comfort food at its best and totally hits the spot. I always bulk cook the sauce as it freezes well and also heats up quickly for a 15-minute quicker-than-a-takeaway dinner.
When serving it to friends, prepare to hear a bevvy of “I can’t believe this is vegan” and “I thought vegan food was boring but this is delicious”, and soak it up!
Although lentils can be quite bland on their own, they soak up flavour and here they form the base of a rich, comforting and satisfying Bolognese that I love during these cold dark evenings.
I allow 100g of pasta per person. Fusilli works well also as it almost grips the sauce. Top with a drizzle of olive oil and some fresh ground salt and pepper and enjoy.
What you’ll need
100g of cashews, soaked for at least four hours
150g onions, finely chopped
2 pressed cloves of garlic
100g red peppers, finely sliced
200g mushrooms, finely chopped
½ tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp miso paste
1 vegan stock cube dissolved in 200ml water
1 x 400g cans of black or green lentils, drained and rinsed or 150g dried lentils, cooked
2 tins of chopped tomatoes.
Crushed black pepper
How to cook it
1 Soak the cashews for eight hours or overnight. If you’re in a rush simmer them for 15 minutes on a high heat.
2 Fry the onions, garlic, red peppers and mushrooms and oregano until soft. Add the tomato puree and fry for a further minute.
3 Blend the nutritional yeast, cashews, miso, salt and pepper until a smooth sauce is formed. Use some of the stock to help it blend.
4 Add the lentils to the pan and cover with the remaining stock and stir in the creamy miso mixture and the tinned tomatoes.
5 Allow it to simmer for 15 - 20 minutes with the lid off to thicken, stirring occasionally.
6 Break down some of the lentils with the back of a wooden spoon to create a softer texture.
7 Serve with your pasta and top with fresh basil, salt pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.