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  • Niamh

Meatless Bolognese

I love spaghetti Bolognese! There I said it.

It’s one of those dishes that has been completely westernised over the years and probably doesn’t resemble the real Italian deal anymore, but I don’t care, I just love it. It reminds me of being small and desperately waiting for dinner time and then tucking into my mums gorgeous Bolognese which we all devoured eagerly.

It’s one of those meals that evokes nice memories and I think it’s important that food does that for us. But the funny thing about Bolognese is that, every household has a different take on it. You could have it for dinner at home one night and then say go to your in-laws at the weekend and be served it but it would taste completely different. It sort of takes on the invention and soul of each cook and I love that about it.

Anyway, much as I adore it, I find that the traditional meat recipe can be a little filling during the summer time, so I often cook a meatless version. I sometimes add a tin of green lentils to this recipe if I want to bulk it up.

Meatless Bolognese

1 red pepper

1 pack of cherry tomatoes

1 pack mushrooms, finely diced

1 shallot, finely diced

1 small stick celery, finely diced

1 carrot, finely diced

½ courgette, finely diced

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 jar passata

1 veg or chicken stock cube/melt

Handful sun dried tomatoes

Dash Worcestershire Sauce

Handful basil

Handful of parmesan

1 tsp Boursin


Optional 1 can of green lentils, drained.

Roast the tomatoes and red pepper in the oven for about an hour at 160 c drizzled with olive oil and some mixed herbs/seasoning.

Fry off the shallot, garlic and celery in some oil in a pan until soft. Add in the carrot and courgette until soft, then add the mushrooms.

Add in the pepper and tomatoes once they are roasted, but de-skin the pepper first it should come off easily enough.

Add in the stock cube or melt and cover it with water. Then add in the passata.

Throw in the sun dried tomatoes and some mixed Italian herbs and allow to simmer gently for about 30 minutes or until as thick as you’d like it. If you’re using the green lentils, throw them in at this point.

Sprinkle in the parmesan and then transfer the mixture to a food processor and whizz until it’s as smooth a consistency as you wish.

Return to the pan and finally stir though the Boursin before serving over spaghetti.

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