Bolognese sauce is a meat-based ragu, originating from Bologna, Italy that simmers for hours, absorbing flavor from aromatic vegetables. This vegan lentil bolognese zucchini pasta is a plant-based version that honors its roots, maintaining its deep, earthy flavours, and thick hearty consistency.
Lentils make for a great meat substitute – they mimic the texture of ground beef fairly well and add an earthy flair and creamy consistency to dishes. There are so many reasons to love lentils-they are a rich source of fiber, iron, protein, and folate and happen to be one of the easiest legumes to digest.
Traditional bolognese sauce is served with tagliatelle pasta. This vegan lentil bolognese mimics the original and is served over a bed of fresh zoodles (spiralized zucchini-turned pasta). The zucchini noodles can be served raw, maintaining their slightly crunchy texture, and are easily heated through when mixed with the piping hot sauce. Since zucchini is one of those vegetables that just doesn’t appeal to me in it’s raw state, I prefer cooking the zoodles for a few minutes, until they are just al dente and take on the texture of a starchy noodle. On a side note, the size and texture of your zoodles will depend greatly on the quality of your spiralizer. You can also prepare zoodles with a knife and peeler, but I’ve yet to try that.
If you try this recipe (and love it!) be sure to snap a pic and tag me onInstagram with #bitesforfoodies so I can see your creation!
Lentil Bolognese Zucchini Pasta
: Serves 2
: 5 min
: 20 min
Bolognese sauce is a meat-based ragu, originating from Bologna, Italy that simmers for hours, absorbing flavor from aromatic vegetables. This vegan lentil bolognese zucchini pasta is a plant-based version that honors its roots, maintaining its deep, earthy flavours, and thick hearty consistency. Lentils make for a great meat substitute – they mimic the texture of ground …
4 large zucchini, stems removed (peeled, of desired)
Cook the lentils according to package instructions. You can also save on prep time by preparing the lentils the day before and storing them in the fridge overnight.
In a large saucepan, heat olive oil on medium heat for 2-3 minutes then add the garlic, onions, carrots, and capers and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until translucent. Season with salt and pepper and taste to adjust seasoning.
Add the tomato puree, 1 cup of water, and spices and continue to cook (uncovered) for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the sauce thickens too quickly simply add a few tablespoons at a time of water to loosen the sauce until it is cooked.
In the meantime, bring lightly salted water to a boil in a medium pot, add the spiralized zucchini and cook for 4-5 minutes. Avoid overcooking them otherwise they will become mushy.
Once the sauce is cooked, add the room temperature lentils to the pan, stir for a few minutes until heated through then turn off the heat. If your lentils are cooked al dente (as I prefer) keep them heat on for another 10 minutes to allow the lentils to absorb the sauce. Serve warm garnished with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil or parsley, if desired.