Inspired living

Vegetarian Mushrooms and Lentil Bolognese Pasta Cake Recipe

Vegetarian Mushrooms and Lentil Bolognese Pasta Cake Recipe

Credit: Christie Connelly

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.

Serves: 4



  • 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
  1. Line base and sides of 24cm spring-form cake tin with non-stick paper.
  2. 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.
  3. Place mushrooms in food processor and blitz until finely chopped. Set aside.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.


Christie Connelly

Christie publishes the popular Australian food blog Fig & Cherry featuring healthy, family-friendly meals and sweet treats with mouth-watering photography to match. Christie draws recipe inspiration from her Hungarian and Lebanese heritages, her travel adventures and, of course, the amazing fertile soil of the Northern Rivers with its abundance of local organic fruits, vegetables, delicious native produce and healthy free-range-reared animals. Her passion is educating parents, grandparents and carers how to shop for, prepare and cook healthy, nutritious food and to encourage children to enjoy it as well.