I’m not a huge fan of meat substitutes. This is for no other reason than the fact that they are trying to be something they are not.They always seem to disappoint. With this bolognese, the flavours are the same, but you expect the texture of lentils. You are not waiting for the texture of minced meat that never comes. This is my perfect vegetarian bolognese recipe. It can be cooked in a crock-pot or in a pan on the hob.
Tin of aduki beans
Beluga lentils (lentils vert would do also)
A chopped onion, 2-3 cloves of chopped garlic
1 chopped carrot
A bottle of passata
Feel free to add as much veg as you like! A selection of peppers, chopped tomatoes, some aubergine and courgette and even frozen peas all go well with this mix.
Creating Your Vegetarian Bolognese Mix
Fry your onion and garlic in a little butter. Add the carrot first as it is a little harder and takes longer to soften. After a few minutes, add your peppers. Allow these to soften for a short while then add your drained and washed aduki bean and lentils.
Once you have heated the mixture, add your passata. You can add your herbs, paprika and seasoning here. If you want to be really adventurous, throw in some chopped olives to create a puttanesca. If you love a bit of spice, create an arrabiata by adding some crushed chillies.
Cover the pot and allow the mix to simmer for a short while. A delicious addition to this recipe is a dash of lea and perrins worchester sauce and a dash of soy sauce. Don’t forget to add black pepper and serve with a sprinkle of parmesan.