Introducing our new veggie-licious version of this Italian cult classic: lentil bolognese! With all the flavour of the original, but lentils taking the place of minced meat and a parmesan-laced mash to soak up the sauce, you'll be saying 'La dolce vita!' after every bite
grated Parmesan cheese(ContainsMilk)
Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan-forced. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil. Pick the thyme leaves. Place the cherry tomatoes, thyme, balsamic vinegar, 1/2 the brown sugar, a drizzle of olive oil and a good pinch of salt and pepper on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Toss to coat, then roast until blistered and lightly charred, 20-25 minutes.
While the tomatoes are roasting, peel the potato and cut into 2cm chunks. Finely chop the brown onion. Finely chop the garlic (or use a garlic press). Grate the carrot (unpeeled) and celery (or finely chop if you prefer!). Drain and rinse the lentils.
Add the potato to the saucepan of boiling water and cook until easily pierced with a knife, 10-15 minutes. Drain and return to the saucepan. Add the milk, the salt and 2/3 of the butter and mash with a potato masher or fork until smooth. Cover with a lid to keep warm.
While the potato is cooking, heat a good drizzle of olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring, until softened, 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and Italian herbs and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.
Add the tomato paste to the frying pan and cook, stirring, until well combined, 2 minutes. Add the lentils, passata, water and crumbled vegetable stock (1 cube for 2 people / 2 cubes for 4 people) and stir until well combined. Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining brown sugar and butter. Simmer until thickened slightly, 4-5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. While the sauce is simmering, roughly chop the parsley.
Divide the mashed potato between bowls. Top with the lentil bolognese and grated Parmesan cheese. Spoon over the caramelised cherry tomatoes and sprinkle with the parsley.