Recipe: Vegan Red Lentil Spaghetti Bolognese

Feb 18, 2013 | Food

Growing up one of the stand out home-made meals I recall eating was a beautiful, hearty spaghetti bolognese – made by my Mum of course. As an adult, whenever I catch a smell of dried thyme it always takes me back to those winter evenings, devouring such a cosy home-cooked meal.

However, since becoming a vegetarian a number of years back, I’d never had a ‘spag bol’ quite like it.

This recipe was created, so that I could enjoy the deliciousness of my childhood, more ethically and healthily, time and time again. It is something I hope to hand down one day to my own children. Here I hand it on to you in the hope that you will create such good memories around the table as I had growing up, delighting in all the senses…


Serves 4

  • 1 generous tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium organic carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 250g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1x 400g organic, vine-ripened, red tomatoes (freshly chopped, or canned if necessary)
  • 4 tablespoons organic tomato paste or passata
  • 2 cups organic vegetable stock
  • 120g organic red lentils, rinsed well
  • 1/4 teaspoon mixed dried herbs (rosemary, basil, sage, marjoram, etc)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (my FAVE ingredient)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper, to season.
  • 500g *spaghetti (spelt, buckwheat, quinoa, rice, amaranth, etc) *My go-to choice is made by Olive Green Organics
  • Salt for cooking water
  • Bunch of fresh parsley, chopped finely

1. Bolognese: In a large pot or pan saute the onion, garlic, and carrot on medium heat until soft and fragrant. Add mushrooms, canned/fresh tomatoes, tomato paste/passata, and veggie stock. Stir through. Then lastly add the lentils. Stir through well. Allow to simmer for approximately 20 minutes (and get started on your spaghetti) – then add some salt and pepper to taste, and it’s ready for serving!

2. Spaghetti: Fill a medium-large pot with plenty of water and bring to the boil. Add salt to the water and then add your spaghetti ensuring that it doesn’t stick together. Cook until al dente, and then drain – but do not rinse. By this time the bolognese should be ready.

3. Serve: Serve pasta onto a plate, and spoon the bolognese on top. Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley. (Additionally you can top with grand parmesan or vegan cheese). Add a few cracks of pepper.

And savour every mouthful!

Do you have a favourite childhood food memory?

What’s your secret ingredient for the ultimate spaghetti bolognese?

Please leave comment below – I’d love to know!

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