Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Lentil Bolognese

I had a particularly stressful day today, it hit me like a bus how much work I have to do, right in the stomach. I went for chocolate cake and ice cream with my flatmate and it was a relief to eat something comforting in a setting that wasn't the library or my room!

Sometimes I enjoy cooking to take my mind off things, I find it a productive form of procrastination. Recently I came by this recipe and it will be my go-to bolognese recipe for the future. There's a lot of prepping of vegetables, but it's worth it. It's perfect for serving to friends, but I like to make a large quantity for myself and refrigerate it to have for my lunch the next day in my recently acquired Thermos flask.

Lentil Bolognese
Serves 4, preparation 20m, cook, 45m
Vegetarian and vegan.

75g Puy Lentils (follow cooking instructions on packet)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 carrots, cut into small pieces
2 courgettes, cut into small pieces
2 sticks celery, cut into small pieces
4/5 closed cup mushrooms, sliced
1 (400g) can chopped tomatoes
1/4 pint/150ml vegetable stock
2 tablespoons tomato purée
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
200g pasta
salt and pepper, to season

1. Cook lentils for 20m, drain and set to one side.
2. Heat oil in saucepan, add onion, garlic, carrots and celery and fry for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until browned.

3. Then add mushrooms and courgettes, cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, stock, marjoram, purée and salt and pepper.

4. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in lentils, cook for another 2 minutes, turn off heat and cover.

5. Cook pasta according to packet instructions. Drain, return to pan and toss with bolognese. Serve in bowls with some cheese on top. My latest culinary discovery is mature davidstow cheddar! Obviously leave the cheese out if vegan.

[Ok so my food photography will never resemble those on the pages of a Nigella cookbook but you get the picture (har)]

PS. I used the cheapest brand of canned tomatoes in store as well, so it's great for those of us on a budget.
Also, puy lentils can be expensive (this recipe doesn't call for much so a 500g box lasts a while) but I'm sure you could use ordinary lentils too.

If you've got any simple and delicious no-fail vegetarian recipes please let me know!


  1. Mmm, this looks delicious! And I love your photo of all the chopped veggies in their little bowls. Very Nigella of you ;)

  2. This looks tasty! I was looking for good / cheap dinners to make, I'm definitely going to be trying this!