This is a fragrant, delicious and very simple vegetarian alternative to traditional bolognese sauces.

Ingredients - Serves 4
(The quantities are only a loose guideline)

First, gently fry the onion and garlic in the oil in a large saucepan for at least five minutes, allowing you time to find an unsuspecting victim to grate the carrot (possibly the worst job in meat-free cookery). Then add the carrot and chopped celery - quantities of these can be varied according to taste, how much is left in the fridge, etc. Keep frying.

When the mixture has fried to soft, add the rest of the ingredients, possibly with an extra dusting of lentils for luck (it's better with more lentils than less). Bring to the boil and simmer for twenty minutes.

Best served on lightly salted spaghetti. A good one for cold winter evenings, and it keeps well in the fridge for repeat servings. Not recommended for convincing determined meat eaters of the wonders of vegetarian cooking (at least not ones with an irrational prejudice against lentils), but great for everyone else.

Possible variations include adding mushrooms, peppers and in one hideous experiment a friend tried, baked beans. In this case, original is definitely best though...

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