Veggie Courgetti Bolognese |
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Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Cooking Time: 45 Minutes

Serves 4

Replacing minced meat with lentils is a simple swap when you want to reduce or remove the meat in your diet. If you have time, make the bolognese in advance to allow the flavours to really emerge.


  • 185g (6½oz/1 cup) of dried green or brown lentils or 2 tins, drained
  • A small handful of sun-dried tomatoes (not the ones in oil)
  • 500g (1lb 2oz) of mushrooms of your choice
  • 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • 4 medium courgettes
  • Toasted pumpkin seeds and basil, to serve


Makes 800ml (27fl oz)

  • Olive oil
  • 2 shallots, peeled
  • 3–5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • About 1kg (2lb 3oz) of tomatoes
  • 10–20 black olives
  • 1 tbsp of tomato paste (concentrated puree)
  • A handful of flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper



  1. Pour a little olive oil into a medium-sized saucepan and place on a medium heat.
  2. ​Finely chop the shallots and garlic and add to the pan. Dice the tomatoes into small cubes and add these to the pan, including the seeds and juices.
  3. Slice the olive flesh away from the olive stones and then chop a little more so you have lots of little pieces of olive. Add to the pan. You can use olives without their stones if you like, but their flavour is not as authentic.
  4. Stir the tomato paste into the sauce and allow it to simmer away on a medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Finely chop the parsley and add to the sauce, then season to taste.


  1. If using dried lentils, cook them in 500 ml (17fl oz/2 cups) of water for 20 minutes.
  2. Finely chop the sun-dried tomatoes and mushrooms and add these to the sauce as you are cooking, along with the balsamic vinegar.
  3. When the lentils are cooked, drain and add these or the tinned lentils to the sauce and allow to simmer for an additional 10 minutes or until you are ready to serve.
  4. Make courgetti using a spiralizer and lightly blanch them in boiling water, if you like. If you prefer them raw, place them straight on the plate. If you don’t own a spiralizer you can use normal spaghetti or any other pasta. Top the courgetti with the sauce and sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds and basil leaves.

Recipe and photography courtesy of Vegan Goodness by Jessica Prescott (Hardie Grant, £15)

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