COOKBOOK CHALLENGE: deliciously ella's lentil bolognese

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

I had this post saved for another day, but seeing as it's #meatfreeweek (missed the memo on that one when I posted those gyozas on Monday!), I thought I'd share this easy meat-free recipe.

I've been a big fan of the Deliciously Ella blog since its early days and I picked up the book recently on a bit of an Amazon spree. I've never been a fan of books which don't show a picture of every dish, but saying that, the lentil bolognese really stood out to me even though I had no idea what it would like.

At first I was sceptical because the recipe is SO simple and I was surprised at the short ingredient list and lack of herbs, but rest assured it is absolutely delicious; warming, hearty and somehow tastes like a real, meaty bolognese. My boyfriend went back for thirds and fourths, which is really saying something, as he loves his meat!


The ingredients measurements didn't quite match up for me, and I've heard from other people as well that her recipes make absolutely gigantic portions.

Ingredients for 4 (book)
3 large carrots
175g sun-dried tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
2 tubes of tomato puree (400g)
2 1/2 mugs green lentils (500g)
450ml boiling water
Salt and pepper

I intended to make half a batch, but I found that the water to lentil ratio didn't seem right as I was cooking, so the only thing I ended up halving was the lentils themselves. The idea of putting 2 whole tubes of tomato puree didn't seem right to me either, so below are the adjusted ingredients I used.

Ingredients for 4* (my adjustments)
2 large carrots
1/2 an onion
100g sun-dried tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato puree
250g dried green lentils (follow the packet instructions, but I didn't soak mine)
600ml boiling water
Salt and pepper

Start by peeling and grating the carrots using the coarse side of your grater. Chop the sun-dried tomatoes into small pieces and finely dice the onion.

Add the grated carrot, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, diced onion and crushed garlic to a large saucepan with the tins of chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, lentils and the boiling water.



Stir everything together and then allow the mixture to simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring it every now and again as it cooks. If it looks too dry, add some more boiling water; if it looks too wet, turn the heat up for a bit to let some of the water boil away.

Ella serves the bolognese with gluten-free pasta, but I really like it with quinoa and a handful of spinach.


*Despite halving the lentils, I still ended up with loads. About 7 small portions, actually, when the quantities I used should have yielded about two or three. Because I was eating this for a light lunch, though, it's probably equivalent to about 4 servings. Luckily, the whole thing was absolutely delicious, as simple to make as it sounds and tasted wonderful, so I really didn't mind having it for lunch three days running or popping an extra batch in the freezer for a later date (it freezes beautifully!). I'm looking forward to trying some more of the recipes in the book, but I think I'll be reducing the measurements quite significantly next time!


12 comments:

  1. I whipped up a batch of her sweet potato pancakes at the weekend, and ended up with far more than I expected. Not an entirely bad thing, but will have to think about halving my next attempt from the book given your experience!

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    1. It's always handy to have leftovers though!

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  2. From your photo it looks like youve added onion?

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    1. Oh yes you're right! I had a quarter of an onion just left in the fridge so added it in but I think it didn't impact on flavour much

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  3. Do you think it would freeze well?

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    1. Hi Tiff, I froze it and it was delicious! If anything, all the flavours just intensified.

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    2. Brilliant! Thank you....that's my afternoon sorted :-)

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  4. I just made this with the full quantities from the book and also had trouble with it drying up. I don't think 2 cups of boiling water can be right for 3 cups of lentils. I also can't believe this is supposed to be 4 servings! I have a ton of sauce - I think I will get at least double that when I add the pasta.

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  5. Did you use tinned lentils or dried ones? If dried did you soak overnight first?

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  6. Two TUBES of tomato puree!? Most recipes I've ever followed give one or two tablespoons at the most.

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  7. TUBES of tomato puree!? 'Well as I am not a native English speaker I am not quite sure if tomato puree means the same as our "Tomatenmark" here in Austria. Here it is more of a thick paste (like curry paste or something like that) - and you just use a little of that (never used a whole tube, as this is kind of concentrated tomatoes and would have quite too much flavour)

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