Spaghetti bolognese

Spaghetti bolognese is a classic comfort food dinner, but this recipe swaps some of the mince for lentils to make it a healthier option
By Angela Nilsen
Spaghetti bolognese
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil, or sunflower oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 slices Parma ham, excess fat removed and chopped
  • 250 g lean minced lamb
  • 400 g green lentils, with no added salt, drained
  • 400 g canned plum tomatoes, in natural juice
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tbsp oregano, chopped plus extra to garnish
  • 280 g spaghetti, snapped in half
  • freshly grated parmesan, to serve

Tips and Suggestions

The bolognese sauce is even better if made a day ahead so the flavours can develop. For a touch of greenery, serve with a little pile of rocket on top.


1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, tip in the onion and garlic and fry for 5 minutes or until the onion is soft and starting to colour. Mix in the Parma ham and fry for another 2 minutes. Stir in the mince and cook for a few minutes, stirring to break it up, until it is no longer pink.

2. Tip in the lentils, tomatoes, carrots, tomato purée and the oregano, some pepper and a pinch of salt. Fill the empty tomato can 1/3 full with water, swish it around to gather up excess tomato juices and pour into the pan. Stir together, breaking up the tomatoes, then bring to a simmer. Half cover the pan with a lid and simmer gently for 45 minutes, stirring every now and then.

3. Just before ready to serve, cook the spaghetti in a large saucepan of boiling water for 10 minutes (or according to packet instructions). Drain well. Serve the spaghetti topped with the bolognese sauce, extra oregano and a little parmesan.

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