Beautiful Bolognese

The star of the show here, is puy lentils.  These guys are full of protein, fibre and here they replace some of the beef mince in a splendid spag bol.  They have a density that supports a nice thick sauce, have a savoury quality that backs up the beef, and adds really good quality insoluble fibre.
Replace anything from 30-50% of the meat with cooked lentils.  If you have the time, cooking the lentils in a chicken bone broth is simply amazing and has fantastic anti inflammatory properties, if not, you can buy cooked lentils in just about every super market.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 75 Minutes

Serves: 8 – 10 portions

Ingredients:

Veggies all chopped as finely as possible:
  • 2 red onions
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 courgette
  • 200g chestnut mushrooms
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 2 medium carrots
For the sauce:
  • 750-900g grass fed, organic beef steak mince
  • 250-300g cooked puy lentils
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • 500g of passata
  • Tablespoon of marmite (love it or hate it, it’s optional but adds great flavour and richness)
  • 300ml chicken or beef bone broth (you can buy this in supermarkets and online now, but you can substitute with stock if need be)
  • Lots of freshly ground black pepper and a little salt
  • Olive oil

Method:

  1. Add the finely chopped vegetables, 3-4 tablespoons of oil and the bay leaves (snap the bay leaves to release more flavour) to a large saucepan or casserole that will work on the hob.
  2. Grind lots of pepper and a little salt into the colourful mix, and heat on a medium heat, stirring frequently so that nothing catches on the bottom of the pan.
  3. After 15 minutes or so, when the onions are opaque and the carrots have softened a touch, add the mince.  You can turn the heat up here, to brown the mince all over.
  4. Keep the mixture moving until no pink meat remains, then add the passata, stock, and marmite.  Then a good grind of black pepper, pop in the lentils, and bring to the boil, before immediately turning the heat to low.
  5. Leave the cauldron to gently bubble for an hour at least, stirring regularly, and reducing until you have a thick and rich sauce.  If it gets a little dry, add more stock.
  6. Servce with fresh pasta, courgetti or wholewheat buckwheat noodles.

Recipe taken from Family Fork by Louise

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