Cooking in Cotton: Frida Redknapp's Vegginese

Frida's Vegginese is a vibrant, plant-based twist on the beloved original that’s just as flavourful, filling and delicious.

Our favourite food lover is back with her meat-free take on the much-loved Italian classic Bolognese. When it comes to classic comfort foods, few dishes rival the hearty, soul-warming satisfaction of this rich dish. Traditionally made with a medley of meats, this iconic recipe has undergone a modern makeover that promises to delight both vegetarians and meat-lovers alike. 


  • 3/4 cups of cashew nuts (*soak them for at least 5 hrs in water)

  • 1 large aubergine

  • 2 medium sized carrots

  • 1 yellow onion

  • 2 celery stick

  • 3 large cloves of garlic

  • 2-3 bay leaves

  • 3 tbsp tomato puree

  • 170-190ml red wine

  • 800g tomato passata

  • 450ml vegetable stock

  • 1/3 cup dried lentils

  • Light soy sauce
  • 1/2-1 tsp smoked paprika

  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • To serve: pasta, grated parmesan (not vegetarian but a nice addition) and finely chopped parsley


  • Smoke the aubergine by pricking it a few times with a fork or knife and placing over a flame, gas hob or bbq, turning regularly until completely charred.
  • Place in a bowl and cover with lid, or foil. Let the aubergine cool down and steam. When cooled down a bit, cut the aubergines lengthways and scoop out the flesh, finely chop into small pieces.
  • Drain the soaked cashew nuts, then place in a pan, cover with water and bring to a boil, then simmer for 20-25min. Remove from pan, drain, and pulse them in a blender into small crumbs.
  • Chop carrots, onion, celery finely. Fry them in a pan with a few spoonfuls of olive oil, til the onions have started to brown slightly, then add finely chopped garlic, bay leaves and red wine.
  • Bring the pan to a boil, then simmer until the wine reduces by half.
    Add tomato paste, smoked aubergines, blended cashews followed by the tomato passata.
  • Season with, smoked paprika, salt and some black pepper.
  • Add dried lentils, the vegetable stock cube and water.
  • Cook for 35-45min, until the lentils are soft.
  • Enjoy with the pasta, freshly grated parmesan and finely chopped parsley.