Lentil Bolognese – Lentils.org

Lentil Bolognese

  By CIA  , ,     

April 5, 2017

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The concept of “the protein flip” means shifting red meat to a supporting role, and blending animal and plant proteins to create more sustainable--and equally, if not more, delicious--menu options. Chef Rebecca Peizer from The Culinary Institute of America shows us “the protein flip” in action with this Lentil Bolognese. The beef and pancetta traditionally used in this recipe have been extended with the addition of lentils, the plant-based protein star of the dish.

  • Yields: 6


  1. In a saucepot, heat the oil, and sauté the pancetta or prosciutto with the onion, celery, and carrots until the onions just begin to caramelize.
  2. Drain any excess fat, add the garlic, and cook until aromatic.
  3. Add the ground meat, the sausage, and the lentils to the pan and gently cook over medium heat until the meats turn deep brown; drain any excess fat.
  4. Add the wine to the skillet and deglaze until wine has reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
  5. Stir in the stock and let it simmer slowly until only ¼ cup liquid remains.
  6. Stir in the milk. Simmer, partially covered, for 1 hour. Stir frequently to prevent the mixture from sticking.
  7. Add the tomatoes. Cook, partially covered, at a very slow simmer for another 25 minutes.
  8. Add the basil and the oregano and continue to cook until the sauce resembles a thick, meaty stew. Season with salt and pepper and serve with preferred pasta.

Produced by The Culinary Institute of America as an industry service to Canadian Lentils.

Recipe & Photo Copyright: Culinary Institute of America.


1 1/2 oz (42 mL) canola oil

1/4 cup (60 mL) pancetta or prosciutto, minced

1 onion, medium diced

1/2 cup (125 mL) celery stalk, with leaves, minced

1/2 cup (125 mL) carrot, small minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup (125 mL) beef or pork, ground

1/2 cup (125 mL) Italian sausage, sweet

1 cup (250 mL) dry whole green lentils

4 oz (114 mL) dry red wine

12 oz (341 mL) chicken or beef stock

1 pint milk

3 tomatoes, canned, drained, chopped

1/4 cup (60 mL) basil, chiffonade

1 tsp (5 mL) oregano, minced

as needed, salt

as needed, ground black pepper