This is a family one that I don't think has taken a written down form before. Ever since turning vegetarian the quest has been on for the perfect bolognese replacement. There are a few in the family now but this is the main one. I also make it using a bit of fake mince - but I know people can find that irksome. As an aside though, that soy mince stuff has an equal amount of protein as meat does and zero fat - add onion, veggie stock, salt and pepper - and meat farmers have been tricked into thinking its the real deal - true story.
However, this recipe is a lentil one. It's filling, healthy and delicious.
1 cup dry Brown lentils
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic
2 sticks of celery, sliced
mixed Italian herbs
tablespoon of plain flour
1 can of tomatoes
Splosh of red wine
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
salt and pepper
Pasta & Parmesan
Put the lentils in a saucepan and fill it up with water, cover it and put it on to boil. From boiling they take approx 20 - 30 mins to get soft. Keep on checking they have enough water, and top them up if necessary
Meanwhile chop everything else you need. When the lentils are soft, drain them and set aside.
Pop some oil in a large, deep fry pan and start cooking the onion, once it goes clear add the garlic and celery plus the dried mixed herbs.
After about 5 minutes add the cooked brown lentils, mix around and then add the flour. Mix this around thoroughly - it thickens things up.
Add the can of tomtoms and a cup of veggie stock as well as salt and pepper. Keep this simmering, stirring occasionly to stop it sticking to the pan. For another 8 - 10 minutes.
You probably want to get your spaghetti on some time soon too.
Add the generous splosh of wine and tomato paste and any more salt or pepper. I often sprinkle a teaspoon of the dry veggie stock on top - instead of salt, if I want more flavour. Keep on adjusting until you're happy and your pasta is ready. Chuck in a handful of freshly chopped curly leafed parsley and mix through right before serving. Dish up over your pasta and smother in parmesan!
* We also use this same recipe for shepherds pie filling (make it and chuck a heap of mash potato on top, sprinkle with cheese - bake until golden)