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Spaghetti Lentilnese

This is a recipe for a plant-based version of bolognese made out of red lentils - lentilnese! It takes only 15 minutes and it is whole-food, plant-based, oil-free, vegan, and gluten-free if needed.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword lentilnese, lentils, plant-based, spaghetti, whole-food
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 610kcal
Author Zana Hrastovsek


For the sauce

  • 1/2 cup red lentils dry
  • 2 cup tomato puree
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp savory dried
  • basil fresh, to garnish (*optional)
  • salt to taste

For the spaghetti

  • 180 g spaghetti any type, whole-grain


  • Put lentils in a sieve and wash them under running water. Cook them according to instructions on the package. (*)
  • Cook spaghetti according to instructions on the package. Save some water from cooking. (*)
  • Clean the onions and dice them into medium-sized cubes.
  • Clean the garlic and dice it finely.
  • Heat up a larger pan and add onions.
  • Once they brown up and start to stick, add pasta along with the cooking water you saved.
  • Add garlic, savory, and salt to taste. Stir-fry until the water evaporates. (*)
  • Add cooked lentils and tomato puree. Mix well to combine. (*)


  • Red lentils cook very fast and can easily overcook so watch out! If you don't like the taste of lentils, put the cooked lentils in a sieve and wash them under running water.
  • Cook the pasta al dente and save approx. 1/2 cup of cooking water.
  • You can even cook lentils and pasta in the same pot and save up on the dishes!
  • I like to stir-fry my pasta in pasta water and add all the spices at this stage, even the salt. The pasta water makes it easier for the spices to stick to the pasta and you can even use way less salt this way.
  • Once you add the tomato puree, make sure you don't cook for too long. Just enough for it to warm up. You don't want for it to dry out and for the pasta to overcook.

Nutrition facts