Serves 2. Prep Time 20mins. Cooking Time 40mins for best results. It's the 4th January or in the American food world, #NationalSpaghettiDay! As I'm doing Veganuary2019, I thought I would share with you my recipe for a delicious savoury vegan lentil bolognese sauce made from scratch. 150g Dry Wholewheat Pasta per person (Spaghetti since it's National Spaghetti Day) 100g Dry Red Lentils (If you want more of a mince texture, use Soya Mince or Mushrooms) (Optional) 50g Walnuts (Minced) 50ml Red Wine 200g Chopped Tomatoes 200ml Vegetable Stock (Stock Cube & Water) 1tbs Tomato Puree 1tbsp Olive Oil 2 tsp Light Soya Sauce 1 Small Carrot (Minced) 1 Celery Stick (Minced) 1/2 Red Onion (Minced) 2 Cloves of Garlic (Minced) A Handful of Fresh Basil Before you start, I would suggest that you soak your lentils in water overnight and drain them before cooking for the best texture, but it's not compulsory to. It's also very helpful to have a food processor because nuts tend to fling about the place when you try to chop them, but again, not completely necessary.
Get your kettle boiling and all your veggies minced. Heat your oil on a medium heat in a saute pan or sauce pan. Once you've prepared your "Soffrito" which is just a super snazzy Italian word for carrot, celery and red onion. Add it to your pan and cook until softened (takes about 5mins). Add your lentils, minced walnuts and minced garlic. Now for my secret ingredient to make it taste super savoury and meaty; Drizzle in a couple teaspoons of light soya sauce. You then want to add your red wine and cook for a further 7mins. Don't forget to season with salt and pepper.
Pour in your chopped tomatoes and vegetable stock and bring the sauce to a boil on a high heat. Squeeze in a tablespoon of tomato puree and add 3/4 of your fresh chopped basil as you'd want to leave some to garnish. You can use dry herbs such as basil, oregano or Italian season. Season to taste and boil for another 5mins before covering with a lid and reducing the heat to a gentle simmer. Leave this to do its thing until you're ready to serve the pasta. The longer you leave your sauce to cook (topping up with small amounts of water as you go along), The richer it gets. At this point you want to get your pasta on the boil. Fill a pot with boiling water (this is why I said boil the kettle earlier) and set it on the stove at a high heat. ALWAYS SALT YOUR PASTA WATER! Everyone knows that cooking dry pasta with the instructions on the packet is a complete and utter lie, so my tip for you is to add the pasta to the pot ONLY when it reaches a rolling boil and to reduce the time instructed by 2mins, try the pasta and adjust the cooking time accordingly. It's always better to have under cooked pasta with another minute to give than overcooked, soft and sloppy.
Once the pasta is Al Dente (it has a little bite to it) turn off the heat and before draining, quickly read what I've written below for my serving methods because I'm very aware that there are 2 types of people in the world when it comes to serving pasta. Serving Type 1: Pasta and Sauce Separate Scoop a 1/4 of a mugful of the pasta water before you drain it and add the pasta water into the pot with the sauce. Stir it in whilst still simmering. This helps keep the sauce glossy and loose when served. Drain the pasta and drizzle extra virgin olive oil before plating. Serve the sauce on top. Serving Type 2: Mixed Together If you prefer it all mixed together, don't bother keeping the pasta water in a mug to one side. I'd suggest to use tongs to transfer the pasta from the pot that it cooked in but try to do so without losing the water that drips off the pasta. Add some fresh chopped basil, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil before serving. Optional Extra: Garnish with the rest of the Basil and If you've got any (This is getting real specific now), Rocket. Since I started eating pasta with rocket, I genuinely can't not. And that's how you make KayCalCook's Vegan BANG BANG BOLOGNESE!