Vegan Bolognese Sauce

Pasta Bolognese has become a popular meal in many homes around the world. From humble beginnings, with the earliest recorded recipe being found near Bologna in the town of Imola, Italy, in the late 18th century. Traditionally it is a meat-based sauce (ragù) often made with a base of celery, carrots, onions, tomato sauce and wine. In the Western world, we often serve it with spaghetti however, it is more customary to eat it with tagliatelle. My version includes beluga lentils and chestnut mushrooms, whilst it isn’t prepared with the traditional main ingredient (ground meat), it is a delicious plant-based bolognese sauce and a healthier alternative to the original.

Serves: 4-5  Time: 35 minutes 


  • 100g beluga lentils.
  • 200g chestnut mushrooms.
  • 1 celery.
  • 2 medium-sized carrots.
  • 1-2 onion.
  • 3 cloves of garlic.
  • 1 tbs of marmite (or 2 tbs of soy sauce).
  • 1 tbsp of oregano.
  • 1/2 tsp of smoked paprika.
  • 1-2 tbs of olive oil.
  • 1 tbs of tomato concentrate.
  • 680g of passata.
  • 175ml of white wine (alternatively vegetable stock).


  1. Rinse the beluga lentils then place them into a pot of cold water. Place the pot onto the stove on high heat. Wait for the water to come to a boil then, let it simmer on medium-low heat for 12 minutes (it will continue to cook in the sauce later).
  2. Prep the onions,  garlic, celery and carrot by dicing them into small pieces. Additionally, dice the mushrooms but not as small (they will shrink whilst cooking).
  3. Now place a pot or a deep pan onto medium-high heat. Add in the olive oil, wait for it to heat up for 30 seconds then, add the onions, carrots and celery (with a pinch of salt). Bring the heat down to medium. Sautee until the onions are translucent.
  4. Add in the mushrooms and garlic, continue to saute for 1-2 minutes. Now drain the beluga lentils and add them to the pot along with the passata.
  5. Next, dilute the marmite in 100 millimetres of hot water and add it to the sauce. Alternatively, add two tablespoons of soy sauce. Let the sauce stay on medium heat for 10 minutes. Note: If you are not using alcohol add the vegetable stock at this point.fullsizeoutput_59
  6. Now add the wine along with the seasoning of oregano, smoked paprika and fresh pepper. Let the s alcohol cook-off and continue to cook for another 7 minutes. Note: taste the sauce, you may want to adjust the seasoning. If it is too sour, cook the sauce for longer. Once the sourness from the tomatoes is gone, it’s done! Serve it with some pasta. If you want you can follow my homemade vegan pasta recipe on the blog (it takes 20mins to make).fullsizeoutput_68

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