#meatfreemonday: veggie bol

To usher in the first #meatfreemonday of February 2017, I wanted to make something fresh yet 'meaty'; comforting yet light. As such I've decided to make a veggie spaghetti Bolognese, a dinner that's bound to become a staple in your home. This recipe serves approximately 5 (large pasta bowls are needed for this), and keeps well frozen for about 4 weeks.

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You'll need:
3 stalks celery, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
3 large Portobello mushrooms, sliced in chunks
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 brown onion, chopped
4 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
400g tinned lentils, drained
400g tinned plum tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp smoked paprika
500ml water
Vegetarian Italian hard cheese (or Parmigiano Reggiano if you're not too fussy!)
Salt & pepper to taste

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Method:
Boil 500ml water, and soak mushrooms in this as you prep all your other veg.

Saute the garlic and onion in olive oil for 2 minutes, and then turn the pan down to a medium heat, add the carrots and the celery. Sweat the vegetables for 5 minutes, then add the soaked mushrooms and drained lentils. Add the vinegar at this point too. Bring to a boil and let simmer on low heat for 15 minutes. Season well, and add the smoked paprika. After this add the tomato puree and diced tomatoes, and simmer for another 30 minutes.

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Whilst this sauce is simmering away, cook your spaghetti according to packet instructions, and grate your cheese! This should also give you enough time to prep the table or have a cheeky glass of wine - in fact, add a splash of wine in the sauce if you fancy it!

Let the sauce stand for a minute before plating up, but make sure to serve it hot! Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container or resealable bags in the freezer.

Enjoy!

Hungry for more,
The Academicook