October 7, 2021

Lentil & Walnut Bolognese with Basil Cashew Cream

This plant-iful Lentil & Walnut Bolognese with Basil Cashew Cream makes me feel all the same ways the traditional bolognese inspired.

For me, what makes food fascinating is the relationship we have with what we connected with at the time. Bolognese will always have a special place in my heart for its comforting and new feelings it introduced. This plant-iful Lentil & Walnut Bolognese with Basil Cashew Cream makes me feel all the same ways the original bites inspired.

It is savory, gently creamy, has subtle herbaceous notes along with mildly tannic layers, and offers a wonderful texture, and richness to it, that suggests, “This may very well be love.”

(The Basil Cashew Cream is optional but it certainly packs a punch!)

“Context and memory play powerful roles in all the truly great meals in one’s life.”— Anthony Bourdain

Lentil & Walnut Bolognese with Basil Cashew Cream:


Lentil & Walnut Bolognese Ingredients:

  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed, and roughly chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 1 large sweet onion, peeled and quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 3 Tbs avocado oil (or cooking oil of preference)
  • 2 cups cooked lentils (I prefer Bob’s Red Mill Petite French Green Lentils)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (or plant milk of choice)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1+ Tbs soy sauce (optional, for added umami)
  • 1 pound cooked pasta or vegetable noodle alternative


  1. In a food processor, pulse together walnuts, carrots, celery, onion, and garlic cloves until finely chopped. (This will create the “mince”.)
  2. Add avocado oil to a large pot, preferably a Dutch oven, and bring to medium heat.
  3. Add freshly-pulsed vegetable mixture and lentils to the pot. Stir to combine and cook for 6-8 minutes.
  4. Add in white wine, stir, and cook for an additional 3 minutes or just until the wine begins to evaporate.
  5. Add tomato sauce, and milk/plant-based milk. Season with nutmeg, dried red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  6. Add bay leaves, stir, then reduce heat to a low simmer. Cover and cook for 30-45 minutes (to harmonize the flavors and soften the walnuts), stirring occasionally and seasoning with soy sauce and more salt and pepper as needed.
  7. Plate individual servings of pasta, zoodle, or other vegetable noodle.
  8. Then, top with sauce. Layer the basil cashew cream, garnish with optional fresh herbs, micro-greens, and freshly-cracked pepper.
  9. Finally, enjoy!

Basil Cashew Cream Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbs Mellow White Miso
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves, finely diced


  1. In a small bowl, place cashews in a heat-safe mixing cup or bowl then add boiling water then let sit for 20 minutes (alternatively, if not in a hurry, you can soak in a container with filtered water overnight in the fridge to retain more nutrients).
  2. When ready, transfer soaked ingredients to a high-speed blender and add miso paste, salt and garlic powder. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Adjust seasonings to preference, then transfer to a container and fold in the fresh basil. Cover and transfer to the fridge to chill for at least one hour, or until the bolognese is ready (it will marinate and thicken as it cools).

For more recipes to try, to pair alongside, or for inspiration, please visit the Kitchen Journal.