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Red Lentil Bolognese

plate of pasta with red lentil bolognese sauce



  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 C broccoli, finely chopped
  • 2 small carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 small red capsicum, finely chopped
  • 2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp “chicken” stock powder (I used Massal brand)
  • 1/4 tsp ground fennel
  • 1 700ml jar passata
  • 115g dried red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 C water
  • Salt & Pepper


  1. To save time and effort I usually chop the onion and garlic in a food processor and set aside. Then I do the same with the broccoli, carrots and capsicum. If you don’t have a food processor just finely chop everything.
  2. Fry onion and garlic on moderate heat until translucent, but not quite browning.
  3. Add in broccoli, carrots and capsicum. Fry until softened.
  4. Add balsamic vinegar and cook for a further 30 seconds or until it has been absorbed and the strong vinegar smell has reduced.
  5. Add the herbs (oregano, basil, fennel), “chicken” stock powder, lentils, passata and water.
  6. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for about 30 minutes or until lentils are cooked, stirring occasionally. I use this time to cook enough pasta for the amount of people I am serving.
  7. Once everything is cooked I add enough sauce to the cooked pasta to coat it generously. Save the rest of the sauce for another meal or pop it in the freezer for another time.

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Melissa Gray

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