A comforting bowl of spaghetti bolognese is always necessary on a chilly winter day. No meat is used in this protein- and fibre-packed veganized version of the comfort-food classic. Chewy mushrooms, filling lentils and meaty walnuts add a pleasing texture and flavour contrast to this delectable dish.

Perked up with a bit of balsamic vinegar, the tomato sauce benefits from a slow simmer, resulting in a dish that’s every bit as rich, hearty and flavourful as traditional bolognese.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 cups finely chopped cremini mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup red wine
1 (28 oz) can diced or crushed tomatoes
2 cups cooked brown or green lentils (if using canned, drained and rinsed)
1 cup raw walnut halves, chopped
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 lb spaghetti or pasta of choice
Fresh basil, for serving

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Directions:
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; salt well.
2. In a large high-sided skillet, heat oil over medium. Add onion, carrot, mushrooms, garlic, oregano and nutmeg; sauté for 8 to 10 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Add wine, increase heat and cook until most of wine has evaporated. Stir in lentils, walnuts, tomatoes, vinegar and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring a few times throughout.
3. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and add to warm bowls. Top with bolognese and a few basil leaves. Serve.

Looking for more delicious dishes? Try these 20 Vegan Recipes That Will Leave You Satisfied.