Wednesday, 13 November 2013

The New Bolognese

I used to love a rich and hearty Bolognese sauce. I loved smelling it simmering on the stove and anticipating how comforting and delicious it would taste. And I thought that love affair was over when I stopped eating meat. Thankfully I was wrong. 

I just discovered this amazing recipe for a lentil Bolognese that is relatively quick to prepare and tastes just as good, if not better, than other beefy recipes I use to make. It was always slow cooking the veggies in the sauce that gave the best flavour, so I really shouldn't have been so surprised. 

The craziest part of this successful recipe is that I never thought I'd like lentils paired with pasta, I thought that any recipe that paired the two would be far too heavy. But I was again proven wrong, lentils and pasta are a match made in heaven. 

Don't believe me? Read on for the yummy recipe inspired by one from Clean Eating magazine.

Lentil Bolognese - serves 6-8

1 onion, finely diced
2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
2 stalks of celery, finely diced
1 fennel bulb, finely diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups water
1 cup green lentils
1 28oz can of chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoon herbes de Provence
1/2 cup evaporated milk
Salt and pepper, to taste
Spaghetti, cooked for serving
Parmesan cheese, grated for garnish

1. In a large pot, combine the onion, carrots, celery, fennel, garlic, and oil. Cook on medium low heat until the veggies are soft and tender, about 15 minutes.

2. Add the water, lentils, tomatoes, and herbes de Provence and let simmer until the lentils are cooked through, about 30-40 minutes. Stir occasionally.

3. Add in the evaporated milk and cook another 10 minutes. If the sauce is too thick, add a little extra water or evaporated milk. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Serve sauce with bowls of spaghetti and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired. I love serving the meal with a warm loaf of garlic bread too.

I think subbing evaporated milk for cream is a great idea. Evaporated milk healthier than cream, but it still makes this sauce creamy and delicious.

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