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Vegan Bolognese Sauce over Rigatoni

Vegan Bolognese Sauce

Now you can indulge in a hearty, delicious bolognese dish without all the calories! Vegan Bolognese Sauce features good-for-you French lentils mixed with fresh tomatoes and herbs. After just one try we’re betting it will turn into one of your favorite pasta sauces.


  • 1/2 cup/3 1/2 ounces French lentils
  • 2 tablespoons/1 ounce extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups/8 ounces onion, medium dice
  • 2 tablespoons/1 ounce garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons/1 ounce tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup/4 ounces red wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes
  • 6 ounces rigatoni
  • 1/4 cup/1 ounce basil, shredded


  1. Place lentils in a medium saucepan and cover with at least 2” of water. Boil until tender (about 20 minutes), drain and reserve.
  2. While the lentils are cooking, make the Bolognese. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and onions. Cook until softened and translucent (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic, thyme and tomato paste. Stir to lightly caramelize the tomato paste and allow the garlic and thyme to become aromatic (about 1 minute).
  3. Add the red wine, bay leaf, pepper flakes and tomatoes. Break up the tomatoes using a whisk or clean kitchen scissors. Bring to a simmer and cook until the flavors have melded and the sauce has thickened (about 20 minutes).
  4. Stir in the lentils. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  5. While the Bolognese is simmering, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the rigatoni according to package directions. Drain.
  6. Divide rigatoni among 4 bowls and top with sauce. Sprinkle with basil.

Yield: 4 servings | Total Time: 45 min

An exclusive Pasta Fits recipe.

Photo credit: Gerardo Luna

Recipe credit (used with permission): National Pasta Association

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