simple veggie & lentil bolognese

We all love bolognese and this is the perfect, veggie-packed recipe for it. It's simple to make and works perfectly mixed through big bowls of pasta or even piled high over roasted sweet potatoes. So comforting, so easy and a real crowd pleaser that everyone will love - perfect for midweek suppers.



Serves 4 & takes 35 minutes to cook


Ingredients


  • 2 aubergines, cut into small pieces (about 2cm cubes)

  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

  • 2 onions, peeled and chopped

  • 2 carrots, diced

  • 2 heaped tablespoons of harissa paste

  • 1 tablespoon of tomato purée

  • 1 teaspoon of creamy tahini

  • 1x 400g can of tinned tomatoes

  • 2 tablespoons of thick balsamic vinegar

  • 1 vegetable stock cube, mixed with 400ml boiling water

  • 2x 400g cans of green lentils, drained

  • Olive oil

  • Salt and pepper

  • 4 portions of pasta


Method


1. Preheat the oven to 190C, fan setting.


2. Place the aubergine cubes into a large baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and a large pinch of salt and cook for 30-35 minutes until soft. Once soft, remove from the oven and leave to one side.


3. While the aubergine cubes cook, place a large pan over a medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. Once warm, add the diced onions, garlic and carrots and cook for 10-15 minutes until the carrots turn soft.


4. At this point, mix through the harissa paste, tomato purée, tahini, tinned tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, vegetable stock and drained lentils.


5. Mix well and bring to the boil, before reducing the temperature and simmering for 15-20 minutes - the sauce should reduce and become thick during this time, if it doesn't reduce enough you may have to turn the heat up a little.


6. While the sauce simmers, cook the pasta according to instructions on the pack.


7. Once ready to serve, mix the cooked aubergine chunks through the sauce and cook for a few more minutes until everything is piping hot.


8. Drain the pasta (saving a little of the pasta water) and stir through one third of the sauce. Mix well until all of the pasta is coated in the sauce.


9. Spoon the pasta into bowls and top each with a few large spoonfuls of the sauce.