A triumph for vegetarians and vegans if I may say so myself ... I have finally worked out something that is really delicious, but still protein packed, to replace the traditional meaty bolognaise sauce. Freezes beautifully, and is very economical. You could easily replace the eggplant and red pepper with other vegetables depending on what is in season - mushrooms and zucchini would be delicious.
Red Lentil and Eggplant Bolognese
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 eggplant, peeled, sliced and then cut into roughly 1cm cubes
1-2 red capsicum, ideally roasted and peeled otherwise cubed
2 x 400g tins chopped italian tomatoes
1 cup uncoooked red lentils
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sugar
100g of dry feta cheese, crumbled (or soy cheese if you are vegan)
pinches of salt, pepper and chilli flakes to taste
large handful of basil leaves, ripped up small
In a large frypan with 1 Tbsp of ricebran oil, cook the onion and garlic until softened. Add the other vegetables and the tomatoes, vinegar and sugar. Cook until the mixture thickens, about 30-40 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the lentils for 12-15 minutes until tender, in a saucepan of boiling water. Drain and then stir through the tomato mixture, before adding the feta,the seasonings and the basil. Serve over hot pasta.