Bolognese was always a staple dish in our household growing up and since my venture into a plant-based diet started, I have tried a few variations of vegetarian bolognese. Spag Bol has always been one of those dishes where I have never followed a recipe, and just thrown this and that in with some mince and chopped tomatoes and hoped for the best. Nine times out of ten this will turn out fine. But now the new challenge of a meatless spag bol… I have tried it with fake mince and lentils and decided I prefer it with lentils. I created this recipe with what I had in the fridge and in the cupboards and you are definitely able to add more veggies and take some of mine out.
Disclaimer #1 – I am obsessed with olives and will put olives in any dish that I can get away with. If you’re not a fan of olives, leave them out and replace with another vegetable of your choosing.
Disclaimer #2 – I am currently trying to shop as organic as possible (solely for the bees) but you do not need to use organic ingredients it make this yummy.
Serves 4 (if cooking for four people, double the amount of pasta. I cook this for two people and have the left overs for lunch), Cooking time: 20-30mins
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion finely diced
- 2-4 cloves of crushed garlic
- 3/4 cup or 130g red split lentils
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 1/2 tsp capers
- 10-12 kalamata olives
- 250g spaghetti noodles
Place a pot on an element with a medium heat, dice and crush your onion and garlic, add oil to pot and swirl around the bottom of the pot to ensure its fully covered. Add your onion and saute for a minute or so before adding your garlic, stir through and saute for another minute.
Add your lentils and tomato paste and stir through, then add your tinned tomatoes. Because the lentils require a reasonable amount of liquid to cook I then fill my empty tin up with water and add to the pot and then bring it to a simmer.
While the lentil mixture is coming to a simmer, I get my olives ready. I tend to buy unpitted olives and then remove the stones as I like to half them. I do this by squeezing the olive until it splits and then pull the stone out. If you have pitted olives or prefer your olives whole, just leave this step out. Once the lentils are simmering add your olives and capers. Let this simmer for 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, once the water is boiling add your spaghetti and follow the cooking instructions on the packet.
If the bolognese is ready before the pasta, turn the heat off and place a lid on top to keep it warm.
Season the bolognese with salt and pepper to taste and dish up your dinner. I have, surprisingly – and to the horror of my boyfriend – found that I prefer to have this dish without any cheese on top therefore making it vegan (provided you haven’t used an egg based spaghetti).
This is such a quick, easy and tasty dinner, and if you would rather have more veggies add away.
I hope you enjoy this little humble dish as much as I do. What are some of your favourite veggie dinners?
Until next time