This is one of my absolute favourite things to eat: rich, hearty, healthy plant-based bolognese made subtly sweet and complex from a long, slow simmer. 🤤 Comfort food at its best! This sauce makes enough to generously smother over 1 lb of pasta.
1 to 2 tsp olive oil (for sauteing; if oil-free, use a splash of water or broth)
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 head garlic, minced
1 cup carrot, ground in food processor (see pic below)
2 cups mushrooms (any kind), chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 cup walnuts, ground in food processor (see pic below)
1.5 cups or 14 oz can brown or green lentils
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano
3/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
Heat large pot over medium heat. Add oil and onion and saute until soft.
Add garlic, carrot, mushrooms, and zucchini and saute just until mushrooms have started to release their moisture and zucchini has started to soften.
Add walnuts, lentils, tomatoes, basil, oregano, and salt. Add about 1/2 to 3/4 cup water so that your sauce is thick but simmer-able. (You can't go wrong!)
Simmer, with cover on but slightly ajar, for at least ten minutes and ideally for about an hour to help develop the flavours and bring out the sweetness of the tomatoes.