Slow Veggie Bolognese
The rich, high-fibre veggie bolognese uses lots of vegetables and lentils. It makes four really generous servings or six smaller portions. It freezes very well and can be used for a lasagne, pasta bake or base for veggie cottage pie– perfect if you like to go meat-free or simply fancy a change. This recipe uses a slow cooker.
- 1 medium onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 medium carrots
- 1 medium courgette
- 1 red pepper
- 150g portobello or chestnut mushrooms
- 150g dried puy lentils
- 150g dried red split lentils
- 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 600ml vegetable stock (made with 1 vegetable stock cube)
- 2tbsp tomato purée
- 1tsp dried oregano or mixed dried herbs
- 1 bay leaf
- flaked sea salt
- ground black pepper
Peel and finely chop the onion, peel and crush the garlic, peel and finely grate the carrots, finely grate the courgette, deseed and finely dice the pepper and roughly chop the mushrooms. Put all the vegetables in the slow cooker.
Put the lentils in a sieve and rinse under cold water then drain. Add to the slow cooker along with the canned tomatoes, stock, tomato purée and herbs. Season with salt and plenty of pepper. (If you are leaving the Bolognese to cook longer than 8 hours, add an extra 100ml of cold water to the pot.) Mix really well to combine the ingredients thoroughly.
Cover with the lid and cook on HIGH for 4–5 hours or LOW for 8-10 hours until the vegetables and lentils are soft. If you get a chance, stir the bolognese halfway through the cooking time, quickly replacing the lid. Adjust the seasoning to taste and add a little extra just-boiled water if necessary, before serving. Calories per serving: 215.
Flat-freeze the cooked and cooled bolognese sauce in labelled zip-seal bags or in freezer-proof containers for up to 4 months. Reheat thoroughly from frozen in the microwave or a large saucepan over a medium heat, stirring frequently, until piping hot.
You can also use a 250g sachet pre-cooked puy lentils for this recipe but you’ll need to reduce the stock to 250ml.