Easy vegan lentil-walnut bolognese with a perfect minced meat-alike texture and all the flavors you love in the traditional recipe.
For the bolognese:
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 sticks celery, chopped
- 2 small carrots, chopped
- 1/2 cup (40g) mushrooms, chopped
- 1/2 cup (65g) walnuts, crushed
- 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) red wine
- 1/2 cup (100g) uncooked beluga lentils* or puys
- 1 1/2 cup (ml) vegetable stock
- 6 cups (800g) canned crushed tomato
- Sea salt and fresh black pepper
- Pasta of your choice
- Ricotta cheese (or almond ricotta for vegan version)
- Freshly ground pepper
- Olive oil
- Fresh basil
- Heat olive oil in a heavy pot. Once hot, add onion, garlic, and sauté for a few minutes or until soft and translucent, stirring regularly.
- Meanwhile, pulse walnuts in a food processor until crushed.
- Add other vegetables (chopped carrots, celery, mushrooms) to the pan, crushed walnuts, dried herbs and let soften for a few minutes.
- Pour the red wine and cook until the alcohol evaporates. Add lentils, half of the vegetable stock, crushed tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and let simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked, stirring from time to time as not to burn the base of the sauce. Add the remaining stock or water, little by little, to loosen the sauce whenever it is looking dry. Taste and adjust spices to your preference.
- Cook pasta of choice and serve with the bolognese, (vegan) ricotta cheese, fresh black pepper and a drizzle of oil.
* Beluga lentils are large, plump black lentils that are available in specialty gourmet stores. They have a delicate flavor and a slightly firmer texture than small, green French lentils (puys).