Vegan bolognese

Vegan bolognese

vegan bolognese

Today’s dish is a little bit more on the hearty side yet still super summery, bursting with flavours of sun-drenched tomatoes and basil. This is my attempt at the famous pasta alla bolognese vegan-style – vegan bolognese.

It’s easy to put together, super filling and ideal after a hardcore workout if you or someone you feed happens to be a bit of a fitness enthusiast (looking at you, Duncan) or a gym bunny.

All three key components – wholemeal pasta, lentils and walnuts provide plenty of plant-based protein, which aids the muscle recovery process and puts the minds of those who constantly ask if you ‘are getting enough protein?’ at rest 😉 .

wholemeal spaghetti

vegan bolognese sauce

vegan bolognese close

vegan bolognese portion

serves
2-3
PREP
15 min
COOKING
20 min
serves
2-3
PREPARATION
15 min
COOKING
20 min
INGREDIENTS

VEGAN BOLOGNESE SAUCE

  • 2 tbsp / 30 ml olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, very finely diced
  • 1 celery stalk, very finely diced
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
  • ¼ cup dry small green or puy lentils, cooked
  • 6 sun-dried tomatoes*
  • large sprig of basil
  • large handful of walnuts, approx 25 g
  • 3 tbsp tomato sauce
  • ¼ tsp hot chilli powder (optional)
  • grated nutmeg, to taste
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp sugar (optional, if tomatoes aren’t sweet already)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

REMAINING INGREDIENTS

  • fresh basil, to garnish
  • 200 g wholemeal spaghetti (gluten-free for GF version)
METHOD
  1. Boil a big pot of water for the pasta. Heat up olive oil in a large frying pan.
  2. Add diced onion to the pan and fry on a low heat until soft, then add in diced carrot and celery. Fry until soft, stirring frequently. Finally add in garlic and sauté until it softens and becomes fragrant.
  3. Place sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl. Once pasta water has come to the boil, ladle out a small amount of boiling water and pour it over your dried tomatoes. Let them soak for 5-10 minutes. This will soften them. Cook your pasta in the remaining water until nearly al dente, drain and set aside.
  4. Chop softened sun-dried tomatoes roughly and put them into a pestle and mortar. Pound them into a paste. Add walnuts and chopped basil leaves and work them into the sun-dried tomatoes. Add a bit of olive oil or water (if you don’t want to use too much oil in your meals) to help you work this quick pesto better.
  5. Move mirepoix (onion, carrot, celery and garlic mixture) to the side of the pan and place cherry tomatoes on the pan, cut side down. Let them cook for about a minute, then add pesto in, cooked lentils, a bit of tomato sauce and balsamic vinegar. Season with sea salt, black pepper, nutmeg, chilli and sugar to taste.
  6. Add cooked pasta to the pan. Toss it in the sauce, let it warm up for a minute and serve.

NOTES
* I used dry sun-dried tomatoes here. If yours have been preserved in oil, there is no need to soak them as they should be soft and plump already.

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NUTRITIONAL INFO
calories
462
23%
sugars
11 g
12%
fats
18 g
25%
saturates
2 g
11%
proteins
15 g
30%
carbs
68 g
26%
*per serving
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5.0
9 reviews, 27 comments
REVIEWS & QUESTIONS
Spank Mobley:
This is probably the best vegan recipe I have found. I amped up the garlic and used a full can of tomato sauce, and it was incredible. Will definitely make again, probably soon.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Aw, thanks much, I am chuffed to hear that, especially this is one of my early ones and I think I've gotten better at getting flavour out of plants :) Here are some other, similar, pasta (here and here) dishes if can you feel like some variety. Oh and thanks so much for taking the time to review, I really appreciate it. x Ania
Madeleine:
Hello! this soundas absolutely delicious; it is suitable for batch cooking and freezeing? If I left the walnuts oput and added them fresh when reheating perhaps?...
Thank you very much!
Cat:
I've just made this bolognese and doubled everything for extra portions, but it tastes too tangy/sour! Help!!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Cat,
    The addition of sugar will balance the acidity out. Hope that helps! Ania
Jo Watson:
My daughter loved this! How long does it keep for in the fridge after?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Glad to hear that, Jo! I am guessing similar to other vegan dishes, 4-5 days. Ania
Jenn:
Made this for dinner tonight. Delicious! Even my kids gobbled it up!
    Ania
    Ania:
    That's great to hear, Jenn! Thank you! x Ania
Virlana:
I've tried many lentil recipes I've found online that have been massive failures (especially lentil "meat"balls), but this one turned me into a lentil-lover, and I keep returning to it! I'm going to make it again today, and later this week try your lentil meatball recipe soon too! Thank you!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Aw, thanks so much, Virlana! I'm delighted to hear that! Ania
Anita:
How will it taste without the walnuts. She is allergic to nuts and carrots
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Ania,
    If that's the case, I would recommend doing this recipe instead as I feel that walnuts are pretty integral to this one. Ania
Carlos:
Simple and delicious
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks, Carlos! I'm very happy to hear that! Ania
Jayne:
I used this bolegnese recipe for a lasagne filling and made the white sauce with a plant based milk , it was delicious !Have saved this recipe ! Thanks ! 😊
    Ania
    Ania:
    I'm delighted to hear that, Jayne! Thanks for letting me know! Ania
Bridget Childs:
YASSSSS!! I used Zucchini instead of GF pasta, Oh My Goodness!! I thank you Ania!!! You are making my vegan journey delicious!!!!!
    Ania
    Ania:
    I'm delighted to hear that, Bridget! Thank you for taking the time to comment! :) Ania
Tamar Noel:
This really hit the spot. Loved it. There were no left overs. Can't wait to make it again
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks for kind words, Tamar! That's great to hear!! Ania
Molly:
Absolutely delicious! I am doing veganuary and I think I have found myself a delicious staple that I would be more than happy to give my meat-eating pals. 10/10!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks, Molly! I'm delighted to hear that!! Ania
Charlotte:
Hi I've made this twice now and both times it was delicious! Do you know the nutritional information for the dish? Thanks 🙂
    Ania
    Ania:
    That's lovely to hear, Charlotte! I'm sorry but I don't have a nutritional information counter, I'm afraid. Ania
Ruth Knight:
Excellent recipe!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks so much, Ruth! Lovely to hear :) Ania
Deirdre Kehoe:
I've just finished eating this and it was delicious! I added a splash of wine and I blended the pesto for the sake of laziness. There's a real depth to the flavour. Thanks so much for the recipe!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks Deirdre, that's so nice to hear! Ania
Sandra Monger:
Hello Ania, this is the best bolognese recipe ever! I have made it twice now and love it, as does my husband. I love the texture of the walnuts, genius!!!!x
    Ania
    Ania:
    Aw, thanks so much, Sandra. I'm so chuffed to hear that! Your comment made my day :) x
Marly:
This looks amazing Ania! Do you know I recently cooked up some lentils and I've been trying to think about what to do with them. They're in the freezer while I've been waiting for inspiration. And Shawn and I are heading out to visit his parents so I think fixing this recipe for them will be perfect! Love it!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks Marly, that's so great to hear. I agree, I think your frozen lentils would love to get acquainted with some sun-dried tomatoes, walnuts and basil :) I hope your in-laws will enjoy this dish! x
Leah:
I just found your blog through pinterest (the chocolate and orange twists), and everything looks so good! I can't wait to try out some of your recipes. Your photos are absolutely beautiful, and so is the layout of your blog <3. Have a great day! Can't wait to read more of your blog :).
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks so much, Leah! Your comment made my day! :)
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