I love the addition of mushrooms, as they give a real heartiness. This bolognese is delicious in jaffles, perfect for freezing, and even more flavoursome after a day in the fridge.






Skill level

Average: 4.5 (2 votes)


  • 750 ml (25½ fl oz/3 cups) vegetable stock (see Notes)
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz/2 cups) dried split red lentils (see Notes)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 large brown onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 2 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 300 g (10½ oz) mushrooms, diced
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 400 g (14 oz) tins good-quality tomatoes (I love cherry tomatoes in this recipe)
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) red wine
  • 2 tsp caster (superfine) sugar
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) pasta of your choice grated parmesan (or vegan cheese/nutritional yeast), to serve
  • basil leaves, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


  1. Heat the stock in a saucepan until warm, then add the dried lentils. Bring to the boil and cook until all the water is absorbed and the lentils are soft; this usually only takes about 10–20 minutes, so keep an eye on them.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and fry the onion over medium heat for a few minutes, stirring often. Add the carrots and celery, along with an extra swig of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Cook for about 10–20 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes until the veggies are browning and reduced. Don’t worry if they’re sticking to the pan a little.
  3. Stir in the garlic, mushrooms and dried herbs and cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add the cooked lentils to the pan, along with the tinned tomatoes, wine and sugar, then stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, for about 30 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and deepened in colour. Season the sauce to taste.
  5. While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling, salted water until al dente.
  6. Serve the pasta topped with the bolognese sauce, grated parmesan and basil leaves.



Homemade stock is great, if you happen to have some. Alternatively, you can dissolve 2 stock cubes in 750 ml (25½ fl oz/3 cups) water.

You can use tinned lentils if you like. They change the texture significantly, but are equally delicious. Replace the red lentils and stock with 3 × 400 g (14 oz) tins of drained brown lentils, and add them with the tinned tomatoes.


Recipe and images from The Shared Table by Clare Scrine, Smith Street Books, RRP $39.99