Lentil and Walnut Ragu

Where would we be without spaghetti bolognese and bolognese lasagna? It’s been, and still is an Italian staple and such a popular dish. It’s years since I enjoyed a bolognese pasta, until I created this plant-based alternative.

Who would have thought, mushrooms, lentils and walnuts would be such a great combination. This sauce is unbelievable. Your meat eating friends won’t even know the difference.  Mix through your favourite pasta.


  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 white onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup cooked french/puy lentils
  • 3 1/2 cups tomato passata
  • 1 teaspoon Italian herbs


  1. Place walnuts in high speed blender and blitz until it resembles a chunky crumb. Then add the mushrooms and blitz about six seconds on high speed.  You don’t want to over blend as it’s important to get some texture and crunch. Set aside.
  2. Chop the onion and garlic finely.
  3. Saute onion and garlic in pan with olive oil until translucent. 
  4. Add the mushroom and walnut mince to the garlic and onions and cook about 2 – 4 minutes, or until mushrooms start to soften.
  5. Add wine and salt and cook another four minutes.
  6. Add the cooked lentils and mix through.
  7. Pour in passata.
  8. Cook sauce on medium heat for approximately 30 minutes.  Check on the sauce as it cooks and stir so that it doesn’t stick to bottom of the saucepan.
  9. Toss through you favourite pasta.  I made home made traditional Umbrian pasta (that you see in this photo) but any pasta works, especially spaghetti or fettuccine and even gluten free options, which are plenty.


I like to use the passata in the glass jars for this sauce as it’s a deep rich tomato.  Don’t waste the sauce left in the bottle.  Add a bit of water, shake the bottle and then add to the sauce.