What’s the perfect pasta to enjoy on a cozy evening? It’s here! This ten-ingredient vegan Bolognese is easy to prepare and packed with protein-rich lentils and hearty mushrooms.
This is a great way to add nutrients and flavor to your regular sauce. We’ll show you how to do it!
What is Bolognese sauce
Bolognese, an Italian sauce that is typically made with beef, gets its name from Bologna, Italy. The sauce can be served over pasta or in lasagna. It is made from meat cooked with soffrito, which includes celery, carrots, onions, and garlic.
This vegan version is made with mushrooms and lentils to achieve a similar texture and a super-savory taste!
How to Make Vegan Bolognese
This recipe is similar to the traditional bolognese. It starts with a base made of carrots and onions. We want a sauce so we can save time by blending them in the processor.
The mushrooms are processed in the food processor while the vegetables sauté. Next, the rest of the party guests arrive with salt, tomato paste (optional), red pepper flakes, crushed tomatoes, lentils, and water.
After the sauce is cooked, the flavors are melded together for a rich and comforting result. Friends, while the sauce cooks, you can prepare the Garlic Bread and the pasta. Then, add a little fresh basil to finish it off.
One medium onion, roughly sliced (1 onion yields about 2 cups or 195g)
One medium carrot roughly chopped (1/4 cup, 60 g or 1/4 carrot)
Garlic cloves, four large (4 large cloves yield 2 Tbsp. or 18 g).
3-4 Tbsp olive oil
8 oz. Whole baby Bella or Cremini mushrooms
2 Tbsp tomato paste
Sea salt, 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons
14 tsp red pepper flakes crushed ( optional).
1 (28-oz.) Can crushed tomatoes
Half a cup of water
Red lentils, 1/2 cup cooked
1 cup fresh basil chopped ( optional, but recommended)
12 oz. Dry pasta in a tube shape, such as rigatoni (gluten-free if needed).
Add the carrots, onions, and garlic to a processor. Pulse the food processor until it is finely chopped. Alternatively, you can finely chop the vegetables by hand.
Over medium heat, heat the olive oil in a Dutch Oven or large pot. Once the oil is hot, add finely chopped onions, carrots, and garlic. Sauté until soft and translucent, stirring frequently.
Add the mushrooms to a food processor (or chop them by hand) and pulse until they are finely chopped. Add the mushrooms to the pan, and cook them for 3-4 mins until they start to brown. Add the tomato paste and sea salt, starting with the smaller amount, and optionally crushed red pepper flakes and stir constantly for 1 minute.
Add the lentils, water, and crushed tomatoes. Cover the pan and bring the sauce to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the lentils for 30 minutes. Stir every 10 minutes. Stir in the optional basil chopped and turn the heat off. Add more salt or tomato paste to taste if you prefer a richer flavor.
Once the sauce is almost done, bring water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook it according to the package instructions. Stirring occasionally will prevent sticking.
Add the desired amount of sauce and garnish with vegan parmesan cheese (both optional) or more fresh basil. Add your desired amount to the pasta and top with vegan Parmesan cheese.
In an airtight container, leftover sauce can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days. It can also be frozen for up to 1 month.