Jamie’s veggie bolognese

So far this seems the best way to get lentils into my kids. And I love it too, with wholewheat or brown rice pasta, or with a baked sweet potato and salad. Yum.

From Jamie’s ‘Super Food Family Classics’ – an essential family cookbook!


20g dried porcini mushrooms

2 large red onions

2 cloves of garlic

2 carrots

2 sticks of celery

2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

olive oil

1 fresh bay leaf

100ml Chianti

1 x 400g tin of green lentils

2 x 400g tins of plum tomatoes

450g dried wholewheat spaghetti

1⁄2 a bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley (15g)

100g Parmesan cheese


In a small bowl, just cover the porcini with boiling kettle water to rehydrate them. Peel the onions, garlic and carrots, trim the celery and finely chop it all with the rosemary leaves. Place a large casserole pan on a medium-low heat with 1 tablespoon of oil, then add the chopped veg, rosemary and the bay. Cook with a lid on for 20 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally.

Scoop out and finely chop the porcini and add to the pan with the soaking water, leaving any gritty bits behind. Turn the heat up to medium-high, pour in the Chianti, then leave to cook away. Tip in the lentils (juice and all), and the tomatoes, breaking them up with a wooden spoon. Half-fill each tomato

tin with water, swirl around and pour into the pan. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a medium-low heat and simmer for 35 minutes, or until thick and delicious. Taste and season to perfection.

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large pan of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions, then drain, reserving a mugful of cooking water. Toss the spaghetti through the Bolognese, loosening with a little reserved water, if needed. Finely chop the top leafy half of the parsley, finely grate over most of the Parmesan and stir both through the pasta, then divide between your plates, grate over the rest of the Parmesan and tuck in.