A store-bought jar of marinara is such a beautiful thing—it’s a shortcut that doesn’t short. Tomatoes are an ideal food for preserving and jarred marinara sauce is no exception—loaded with wonderful, slow cooked tomatoes and herbs, it’s a time-saver that really delivers. And in this case, it pairs up with lentils and walnuts to make a flavorful, rich vegan bolognese sauce that packs a huge nutritional punch, too! Healthy, hearty, vegan, rich, quick, easy, yummy—this walnut and lentil bolognese is an update on childhood favorite and a weeknight superstar.
“Boldly flavored, super hearty and incredibly easy, this vegan walnut and lentil bolognese recipe takes your plant-based eating goals to new heights.”
How to Buy and Store Walnuts
- Buy them in sealed packaging. This will ensure that they’re as fresh as possible when you first get them.
- Store them in the fridge or freezer. Once you’ve opened the package—or if you’ve bought walnuts from the bulk section—store the walnuts in the fridge. Or, if you want to store them for more than a month or so, store them in the freezer.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 1 cup minced celery
- 1 cup finely minced yellow onion
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup raw walnuts, finely chopped
- 1 cup dried brown or green lentils, rinsed
- 4 cups vegetable stock or broth
- 1 (24-ounce) jar marinara sauce
- 1 cup red wine, such as Pinot Noir
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
- 1 pound cooked pappardelle or tagliatelle, for serving
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese or vegan Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan or braiser over medium heat. Once the oil is glistening, add the carrots, celery, and onions and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more.
- Add the walnuts and lentils, stir to combine. Add the stock, marinara, wine, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, pepper, and salt. Stir to combine again, then increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens and the lentils are cooked to your liking, about 35 minutes.
- Transfer 2 cups of the sauce to a blender or food processor and blend until mostly smooth. Return the blended sauce back to the pan and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt as needed.
- Serve the bolognese over your favorite pasta, topped with Parmesan if desired.
- Calories 320
- Protein 10g
- Carbohydrates 23g
- Total Fat 19g
- Dietary Fiber 7g
- Cholesterol 0mg
- Sodium 344mg
- Total Sugars 7g
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