Lentil, Beef & Vegetable Bolognese

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Once you have this little beauty of a Bolognese under your belt, you can do pretty much anything with the sauce. It's so simple and delicious and can be used in so many ways. Adding lentils and vegetables to any kind of mince is a great way to bulk out a recipe using nutrient dense foods whilst saving money by adding less meat which is often the most expensive ingredient. This sauce is perfect for hungry tummies, growing teenagers and adults of the house. It also makes the tastiest lunch the next day!

This Bolognese sauce can be used in a number of ways. I encourage you to try at least a few of the ideas listed below:

Spaghetti Bolognese

Piled onto hot spaghetti and topped with fresh basil and freshly grated parmesan cheese served with a rocket salad.

Shepherds Pie

Place the Bolognese into an ovenproof baking dish, top with mashed potato or kumara and grated parmesan cheese and baked in the oven until you have a crunchy topping. Serve with a green salad, Kale Chips or the Lemony Almond Broccoli shown below.

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Cuddled by Pastry

Use the Bolognese as a pie filling and use your favourite homemade or prepared pastry to cuddle the filling. I used the gluten-free savoury pastry from the My Darling Lemon Thyme cookbook in the pie pictured below. I then topped the pie with feta and fresh basil leaves and served it with a big bowl of rocket topped with toasted walnuts, feta and a dressing made from 1 part balsamic vinegar, 3 parts olive oil, salt and pepper.

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Stirred through Pasta

The Bolognese is perfect added to freshly cooked penne pasta and topped with a sharp cheese and served with a side salad of rocket, toasted walnuts and finely shaved parmesan.

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Farmers Lunch

There’s nothing quite like Bolognese sauce piled onto hot crunchy wholegrain toast topped with a fried egg and freshly chopped parsley. This is the perfect way to enjoy day old Bolognese sauce!

Lentil, Beef & Vegetable Bolognese – serves 5-6

  • 1 Tbspn Olive Oil

  • 2 onions, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

  • Pinch chilli flakes

  • Good pinch coarse iodised sea salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • ~450g premium beef mince

  • 2 courgettes, grated

  • 4 fresh tomatoes, diced

  • 1 cup Puy lentils

  • 2 cans diced tomatoes

  • ~400ml red wine

  • ¾ cup good quality beef stock

  • 2 Tbspn Balsamic Vinegar

  1. Heat olive oil in a large deep pan or large saucepan over a medium heat. Add onion, garlic, chilli, salt and pepper to the pan and cook until the onion is softened, about 10 minutes.

  2. Add the beef mince and cook for about 5 minutes or until browned, breaking up the meat as it cooks.

  3. Add the courgette, fresh tomatoes, lentils, canned tomatoes, red wine, beef stock and balsamic vinegar. Give everything a good stir and bring to the boil.

  4. Reduce the heat and leave the Bolognese to simmer for at least one hour. Make sure you check it every 20 minutes or so and give everything a good stir. If you need to add any extra liquid during cooking, add a dash of water when needed and stir.

  5. Taste the Bolognese and adjust the seasoning with extra salt, pepper or balsamic vinegar.

  6. Enjoy!

Gluten-free (check stock), Dairy-free

#dinner #lunch

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