Donna Hay’s veggie bolognese

Hiding veggies in bolognese is a not-so-well-kept secret that most parents have been in on for years! This recipe takes that one step further. I think you’ll be surprised how good this version of the classic tastes. If nothing else, it’ll become your go-to for meat-free Mondays.

donna hay veggie bolognese
Con Poulos


2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
400g can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and roughly chopped
15g dried sliced porcini mushrooms
250ml boiling water
300g coarsely grated pumpkin
200g coarsely grated courgette (about 1 medium courgette)
1 tbsp oregano leaves
2 cloves garlic, crushed
680ml tomato passata
400g can cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
sea salt and cracked black pepper
400g dried wholemeal pasta
basil leaves, to serve
finely grated parmesan, to serve

1. Place a large deep-sided frying pan over medium heat. Add the oil, onions and chickpeas and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is deep golden in colour. While the chickpeas are cooking, place the porcini in a medium heatproof bowl and cover with the water. Allow to soak for 15 minutes or until softened.

2. While the mushrooms are soaking, add the pumpkin, courgette, oregano and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.

3. Drain the mushrooms, reserving the soaking liquid, finely chop and add them to the pan. Add the reserved liquid, passata and tomatoes. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes or until the mixture has thickened. Add the vinegar, salt and pepper and stir to combine.

4. While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water for 8-10 minutes or until al dente. Drain and divide between serving bowls. Top with the sauce and sprinkle with basil and parmesan to serve.

Buy Donna’s book with 20 per cent off

These recipes are from WeekLight by Donna Hay, which will be published by 4th Estate on 3 October, price £20. To order a copy for £16 until 20 October call 01603 648155 or go to; p&p is free on all orders.