Skip to main content

Leek and lentil bolognese sauce with seed sprinkle

This is a great 'mushroom-free' ragu that works well with pasta or in a shepherd-less pie! Thank you to Rachel for sending in the recipe.

Time 90 mins
Skill Level Intermediate

Ingredients List

Serves 1
  • 350 g leeks washed and finely sliced
  • 1 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
  • 250 g carrot peeled and diced
  • 200 g red lentils
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 800 g chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 70 g sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast


  1. Heat a heavy bottomed pan over a medium heat, add the leeks and cover and cook for about 10 minutes until softened and starting to colour. Keep stirring every few minutes.
  2. There should be enough moisture in the leeks, but if they start to stick add a tablespoon of boiling water from the kettle.
  3. Then add the carrot, garlic and lentils.
  4. Continue to cook for a couple of minutes uncovered, stirring and adding a little of the wine if it starts to stick.
  5. Add the rest of the wine, diced tomatoes and tomato paste.
  6. Use the water to rinse out the tomato cans and add that to the pot as well. 
  7. Add the vinegar, sugar, oregano and bay leaves.
  8. Stir and cover. Leave to simmer over a low heat for about 30 minutes. If it gets too dry add a little more hot water.
  9. Remove the bay leaves. Taste and season with salt and pepper. 
  10. To make the seed sprinkle, grind the sunflower seeds with nutritional yeast and 1/2 tsp salt in a mini food processor. Be careful to not blend for too long otherwise you’ll have sunflower seed butter! 

You can serve this sauce with pasta or make into a shepherds pie by topping with 500g peeled, cooked and mashed potatoes and baking for 30 minutes at 180 degrees C.