Big-batch bolognese sauce recipe
We’ve written a fair few bolognese recipes over the years, but this one, made with celeriac and lentils, is one of our best. Be warned though, it makes a BIG batch! One portion of this will happily feed 16 people, but it freezes like a dream, which means you’ll have something delicious to eat even if you don’t fancy cooking from scratch!
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
200g red lentils
1 large white onion
1 celeriac (about 500g trimmed weight)
2 celery sticks
6 garlic cloves
Handful of parsley stalks
1 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp tomato puree
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
100ml wine (optional)
1 litre vegetable stock
4 x 400g tins basic chopped tomatoes
2 x cinnamon sticks
2 bay leaves
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
Tip the lentils into a bowl, cover with cold water and set aside to soak. Trim and roughly chop the onion, celeriac, leek, celery and mushrooms and peel the garlic.
Add the onion and celeriac to the processor with half the mushrooms. Pulse until you have rough dice, then tip into a bowl. Add the onion, leek, celery, garlic and parsley to the processor with the rest of the mushrooms. Pulse to chop, then add to the bowl with the onion and celeriac. Continue in batches until all the vegetables are chopped, then stir to combine.
Place the pan over a medium heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the veg, stir, cover and cook over a low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, then remove the lid.
Add the tomato puree and balsamic vinegar, scraping the bottom of the pan to get any tasty bits of caramelised veg off the bottom. Add the wine (if using), stock, chopped tomatoes, cinnamon sticks, bay and thyme. Season generously. Simmer for 30 minutes.
Drain the lentils and add them to the pan, cover and cook for another 10-15 minutes, until the lentils are cooked. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more balsamic if you want more sweetness and acidity. Remove the cinnamon sticks and bay leaves and you’re good to go!
To store, allow the bolognese to cool and then portion up and freeze flat in freezer-safe bags as this makes it super quick to defrost when you want a quick supper.
Recipe from BOSH! on a Budget by Henry Firth and Ian Theasby (HarperCollins, £16.99). Order you copy from The Telegraph Bookshop.