This vegetarian spaghetti bolognese is a great alternative when you don’t want to use meat. The haloumi adds a nice twist and really ups the yum factor!
Are you vegetarian, or trying to reduce your meat intake? I’m not sure I could forego meat completely but I’m enjoying the challenge of developing some nutritious and interesting vegetarian meals (they seem to be a popular request!). At this stage, I’ll be keeping them as a fortnightly feature on my menus.
If you’re after a vegan option, you could omit the haloumi and the cheddar cheese and just top with fresh basil instead.
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It’s hard to beat regular spaghetti bolognese, but this version is a good alternative when you don’t want to use meat. The haloumi adds a nice twist and really ups the yum factor!
Dice haloumi into 1cm cubes. Finely dice celery, carrot and red onion. Grate courgette and crush garlic.
Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan or pot over a medium heat. Fry haloumi, turning occasionally, until golden on both sides. Remove from the pan onto a plate. Add remaining teaspoon of olive oil to pan, then add celery, carrot and onion. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until starting to soften. Add courgette and garlic and cook for a further 3 minutes.
Stir in sugar, vinegar, tomato paste, crumbled stock cube, oregano and paprika. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add lentils, canned tomatoes and haloumi, and season with a little salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium low and leave to simmer, stirring occasionally, while you cook the pasta.
Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and add spaghetti. Cook for 10 minutes (or according to instructions on the packet), until al dente.
Drain pasta and divide individual portions into warmed bowls. Top with veggie bolognese sauce and sprinkle with cheese and fresh basil leaves (if using).
WINE MATCH: Try a Sangiovese or a Cabernet Sauvignon.
GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: Use a gluten-free stock cube and gluten-free spaghetti.
INGREDIENT SWAPS: You can replace the haloumi with 100g (3.5oz) crumbled feta, if you prefer. Crumble it through the sauce just before serving. You can also use wholemeal spaghetti for an extra fibre boost. Parmesan can be used instead of cheddar cheese.
STORING AND REHEATING: Keep individual portions in containers in the fridge and reheat in the microwave as required.
(Note this recipe is also featured in MENU 65)