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This lentil bolognese turned out so flavorful! I had some lentils lounging in the fridge that needed to be used, so as usual, I planned my meal around them. I always like to cook a legume on the weekend to have in the fridge to build meals easily- lentils go so well in grain salads, green salads, soups and more. They are perfect little gems: gorgeous, easy to digest and packed with protein and iron. Plus they have a nice hearty texture and can hold their own in this sauce. Crimini mushrooms and tamari add a little umami, and plenty of aromatics make everything pop. YUMMM let’s get to it.
lentil bolognese (serves 4)
olive oil for sautéing
1/4 cup minced shallot or onion
1/4 cup minced carrot
1/4 cup minced celery
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
4 cloves chopped garlic
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning OR 1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
3 cups tomatoes- you can use chopped fresh or canned
1 tablespoon tamari
1.5 cups cooked lentils- I used French green; you can use any EXCEPT red lentils which will turn to mush
1/4 cup chopped basil or parsley + more for garnishing
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan or Dutch oven. Add in the shallot, celery, carrot, and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened- about 7 minutes. Add in the garlic, dried herbs, and chili flakes and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add in tomatoes and tamari, stir, and simmer 20 minutes or until sauce has reduced and thickened. At this point I pureed half of it before returning it to the pot; my kids prefer a smoother sauce. You can do that too or leave as is; up to you! Add in the lentils and basil and let cook minute or two to heat through. Toss with pasta or zoodles or spaghetti squash, plate, and sprinkle with more chopped herbs and a generous sprinkle of my crumbly vegan parm . Yum! Keeps well in the fridge too. Hope you guys enjoy it as much as we did! If you make it, I’d love to see! Tag me on instagram @mamaeatsplants . Have a lovely weekend friends! xx A.