This recipe is really close to my heart for so many reasons. The first obvious one is that since I am Italian pasta will always be the food that brings back so many childhood memories. The second reason is that I am originally from Bologna (yes where the Bolognese ragu comes from) so this recipe is my tribute to my beloved city and to a traditional recipe I grew up eating most Sundays for lunch, I obviously put a Happy Skin Kitchen twist on the traditional meat ragu recipe by using instead meaty dried porcini mushrooms and lentils. I know some of you might be skeptical about this, but trust me, this sauce is so flavoursome and packed with amazing textures it will make your belly sang with joy! Don’t skip on the homemade cashew “parmesan”, it takes no time to make and it adds a lovely crunchy and extra flavour. I hope I made my grandma proud 🙂
This recipe is in collaboration with Barilla to celebrate World’s Pasta Day.
2 tablespoons olive oil for frying
1 small white onion, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
2 medium-sized carrots, finely chopped
1cup of dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in some warm water for at least ½ hour
3 cloves garlic, minced
1cup of cooked brown lentils
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
2teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1/4teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/3cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
400gr of Barilla Spaghetti no 5
For the cashew Parmesan:
1cup raw cashews
1/4cup nutritional yeast
sea salt to taste
1teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon of white miso paste (optional but add an extra cheesy/salty flavour)
Start by making the cashew parmesan. Simple place all the ingredients into a food processor and blitz until you have a crumbly kind of consistency. Set onto one side while you are making the sauce.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrots. Cook for about 6-8 minutes, until the onion starts to turn translucent.
Drain the soaked porcini and roughly chopped them.
Add the mushrooms and garlic to the pan Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, keep stirring from time to time.
Add the lentils, tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and all the herbs to the pan. Stir the mixture well, and bring it to a boil. Reduce it to a simmer and cover. Cook for 30 to 35 minutes on a very gentle heat. If the sauce becomes too thick add a splash of water.
When the sauce is fifteen minutes from being done, heat a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions. Drain the pasta and add a splash of olive oiol to prevent from sticking.
Divide the pasta into bowls and top with the bolognese sauce. Serve the pasta with some extra fresh basil , cracked black pepper and the cashew parmesan.