Spaghetti Bolognese yum (1)
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  • Food: Spaghetti Bolognese
  • Writer: Lizzie Green
  • Content-Type: Food Blog

This new take on spaghetti bolognese is sure to please. It’s made with a filling of mushrooms, lentils, walnuts, and fragrant vegetables.

Have you seen those trend forecasts for 2017? You know, the ones that circulate the internet around this time of year, predicting anything from the popularity of coconut oil to the hue pastel pink we’ll all be wearing in the spring?

One that has recently attracted my attention is “them” claiming that staying in is the new going out.

And I wholeheartedly agree with you. Stretchy jeans, spaghetti bolognese, wine, and a pleasant meal by the fire with twinkling Christmas tree lights in the background sound good to you if you’ve had a busy holiday season?

Okay, I’m kidding. We don’t have a fireplace, and we haven’t even put up the Christmas tree yet, because last year we didn’t get around to taking it down until FEBRUARY. But, putting the festivities aside, how about we prepare some pasta?

What exactly is bolognese spaghetti?

Spaghetti Bolognese yums (1)
Food: Spaghetti Bolognese (Source: Lazy Cat Kitchen)

Although I’m sure Italian grandparents are shaking their heads right now, I’m calling this pasta bolognese.

Pasta is topped with a tomato sauce consisting of fragrant vegetables, red wine, and a mixture of beef and pig in traditional spaghetti bolognese.

While this bolognese sauce isn’t quite traditional, it’s nevertheless wonderful, thanks to a robust mix of mushrooms and lentils stewed with onions, carrots, tomatoes, and rosemary, among other savory ingredients.

Spaghetti Bolognese with a Twist

There are some unusual components in this spaghetti bolognese dish. Balsamic vinegar and soy sauce, I’ve discovered, bring out a deep flavor in the mushrooms.

Because sage has a sausage-like aroma, I used a pinch of dried sage to add depth to the sauce. I added some finely crushed walnuts to the lentils, which you won’t notice, but they offer some richness to this no-meat situation.

I made the sauce with canned tomatoes and tossed in some sliced fresh tomatoes near the end for no other reason than I find brown meals extremely difficult to photograph.

Apart from the fact that I don’t have a Christmas tree, Christmas came early for me because I got to try out KitchenAid’s new Stainless Steel Cookware Set.

The gleaming stainless steel is stunning! My stewy sauce cooked properly in the 12-inch skillet, and these pieces were a snap to clean. Plus, look at how lovely this enormous pot (and Jack’s action-pasta-drop shot!) is:

What to Serve with Bolognese Spaghetti?

Cook the pasta until it’s al dente, then combine it with the sauce and serve! Ours is best served with steamed green vegetables or any simple vegetable side dish.

Some of our favorites include roasted cauliflower, asparagus, green beans, and zucchini.

With a green salad and crusty bread, it’s also delicious. Make your own salad.

Spaghetti Bolognese.

Time to Prepare: 20 minutes
30 minutes to cook
Time allotted: 50 minutes
Serves: 4

This lighter version of the Italian classic, vegetarian spaghetti bolognese, is excellent. I make the substantial sauce with walnuts, lentils, and mushrooms in addition to the customary fragrant vegetables.


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion, diced, about 1 cup
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 4 cups chopped cremini mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
  • ½ cup walnuts, crushed
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 8 ounces spaghetti
  • 1 14-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked brown or green lentils
  • ½ cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup sliced fresh basil, optional
  • shaved pecorino cheese, skip if vegan
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Spaghetti Bolognese (1)
Food: Spaghetti Bolognese (Source: Lazy Cat Kitchen)
  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot, along with a touch of salt and pepper, and simmer for 3 minutes, or until they begin to soften. Then, add the mushrooms and another pinch of salt, and simmer for another 8 minutes, stirring only periodically.
  2. Add the rosemary and mix well. To make a place for the walnuts, push everything to one side of the pan. Toast the crumbled walnuts for around 30 seconds before stirring everything together. Toss in the garlic, then stir in the balsamic vinegar and tamari until well combined. In a large mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, lentils, tomato paste, sage, and fresh cherry tomatoes.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce thicken for 20 to 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. A big saucepan of salted water should be brought to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until it is al dente. Drain the pasta and combine it with the sauce in the pan.
  5. If preferred, top with fresh basil, pine nuts, a sprinkling of red pepper flakes, and pecorino cheese.


  • This dish can be made with canned lentils. Before usage, drain and rinse them.