Vegetarian Mushrooms and Lentil Bolognese Pasta Cake Recipe
The combination of finely chopped mushrooms and nutty lentils give a real beef mince-like texture and appearance. So much so that my taste testers didn’t realise there wasn’t any meat in this dish! This recipe also works well using a muffin tin for individual lunchbox portions.
- 200g (1 cup) dried green lentils (soaked overnight if time allows)
- 300g mushrooms
- 2 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, diced
- 1 tbsp chopped thyme leaves
- 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 4 tomatoes, diced
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- Salt & pepper
- 400g dried spaghetti
- 50g Parmesan cheese, grated
- 400g ricotta cheese
- 2 eggs
- Pinch ground nutmeg
- Line base and sides of 24cm spring-form cake tin with non-stick paper.
- Place lentils in large stockpot. Cover with cold water and bring to boil. Cook for 30–45 mins, until tender. They will cook quicker if soaked overnight. Drain and set aside.
- Place mushrooms in food processor and blitz until finely chopped. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in large stockpot and add onion, celery and carrot. Cook on medium for 5 mins until vegetables soften. Add garlic and cook for 1 min more, then add mushroom and cook for 5 mins until wilted.
- Add lentils, thyme, parsley, tomato, tomato paste and 1 cup cold water. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 15–20 mins, until tomatoes break down to form thick sauce.
- Meanwhile, boil spaghetti according to package instructions. Drain and put back in pot. Pour in sauce and most of Parmesan, and mix well. Add pasta to cake tin, leaving 5cm-deep space at top.
- Heat oven to 180°C. Place ricotta, eggs and nutmeg in bowl and mash together with fork until well combined. Spoon over pasta and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan.
- Place cake tin on large baking tray lined with non-stick paper or foil. This is because it might leak sauce! Bake for 30 mins until top is golden brown.
- Allow to cool for 15 mins, then run knife around sides and release spring-form tin. Allow to cool another 10 mins, then slice and serve. It will be easier to slice when not too hot.
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