This Lentil Bolognese recipe is a real hearty treat and gets it big meaty flavour from dried porcini mushrooms mixed with regular shrooms!
Vegetarian or Vegan Bolognese.
Lentils really are the perfect base for a veggie bolognese ragu especially when given a bit of a helping hand by some mushrooms.
I’m a long way from being a vegetarian or vegan, I just love tasty grub and this simple ragu is so tasty.
To be honest I am just as likely to crave this lentil recipe as I am my classic meaty ragu alla bolognese!
It has a deep rich flavour from the wine and the mushrooms add a meaty feel to a recipe without resorting to faux meat products.
Naturally, to make this recipe vegan you will need to use both vegan wine and vegan pasta. Both of which are pretty freely available.
As you can see I am a scant amount of sauce “dude” when it comes to my bolognese and a mix it through dude too!
You can, of course, serve this as a big pile on a bed of pasta, you should eat your dinner how you like it!
The major choice in this recipe that will impact the flavour is the choice of the wine.
I’ll reiterate my stance that friends do not let friends use cooking wine.
Beyond that, this recipe calls for a rich and bold wine, although one that is not too sweet. Something like a Malbec or Syrah would be perfect.
Next up we have your choice of lentils, I usually use brown or green lentils. Although I would choose puy lentils if they were more readily available.
You can use red lentils but they will break down in cooking, which is not a texture I am fond of in this recipe.
The joy of brown, green or puy lentils is that they do not need soaking.
Finally, we have the dried porcini mushrooms, yes they are expensive. But boy are they worth it!
They add a wonderful flavour deep mushroom flavour and are irreplaceable in this recipe.
They also last for a long old time in an airtight box in a dark cupboard.
I love serving a ragu like this with tagliatelli, fettucini or pappardelle.
Although on occasions I serve ragu with bucatini pasta as I do with my duck ragu.
But this recipe would also be great served on a cheesy ragu like I do with my Italian Sausage Ragu.
And it makes for the most wonderful filling for a vegetarian lasagna bolognese.
You can just replace the meat ragu in this classic lasagna recipe with a doubled-up version of this recipe.
In fact, you can scale this recipe up and freeze it for up to three months with no problems.
I would usually freeze enough for two in a strong, thick freezer bag.
Then just drop that bag in simmering water, boil in the bag style, in order to reheat.
This method retains moisture and stops your frozen food drying out. It is a method I use for everything from frozen mashed potato to frozen curry!
- 125 g Dried Puy or Green Lentils
- 15 g Dried Porcini Mushrooms
- 35 g Leek
- 35 g Shallot
- 35 g Celery
- 35 g Carrot
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 125 g Mushrooms
- 200 g Tagliatelle Pasta
- 500 ml Red Wine
- Begin by placing the dried porcini mushrooms in jug and pour over 150ml of boiling water and allow to soak for 15 minutes.
- Cut the leek, celery, carrot and shallot into a 2-3mm dice.
- Heat the oil over a medium heat and add the vegetables that we diced in step two.
- Cook softening without colour for 10 minutes.
- Whilst these are softening cut the mushrooms into a 5mm dice.
- Strain the dried mushrooms and reserve the soaking liquid.
- Then add both types of mushrooms to the softened vegetables.
- Season well with salt and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add in the lentils, followed by the mushroom soaking liquid, the red wine and the bay leaf.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 60 minutes.
- Cook the pasta as per the instructions on the packet.
- When cooked al dente, drain and add to the lentil ragu and stir to coat.
- Serve with fresh basil leaves.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 619Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 49mgCarbohydrates: 73gFiber: 9gSugar: 7gProtein: 17g