VEGGIES: Add the olive oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add in the diced onion, carrot, and celery. Sauté, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add in the diced mushrooms and sauté for another 3-5 minutes or until veggies have cooked down and are mostly tender. Add in the garlic and stir constantly for 1 minute.
SEASONINGS: Add in the tomato paste and all of the seasonings: the dried thyme, dried basil, dried oregano, and dried Italian seasoning. Season to personal preference (I add 1 and 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt and 1 teaspoon pepper). Cook and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
GRAPE JUICE: Add the grape juice and simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 3 -5 minutes.
TOMATOES: Add the diced tomatoes and crushed tomatoes and stir for 1-2 minutes. Next, add in the vegetable broth, and the rinsed/picked over lentils. Bring to a boil and add in the bay leaves.Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, simmer uncovered for 5-10 minutes or until lentils are tender and the sauce has thickened. Remove the bay leaves and discard. Taste the sauce and adjust seasonings as needed (I typically add another 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt here).
PASTA: Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to package directions. Make sure to generously salt the water (I add 1 teaspoon to every 4 cups of water), since under-salted pasta water will make the whole dish will taste under-seasoned. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water and then drain pasta and set aside. Add pasta to a plate or bowl and top with the sauce or emulsify (see next step).
OPTIONAL EMULSIFY: (see Note 1) Place a portion of the Bolognese sauce in the same pot used to cook the pasta. Add hot drained pasta right on top. Toss the pasta and sauce gently for a couple of minutes, slowly adding reserved pasta water as needed until the sauce thickens and generously coats the noodles. Return this emulsified sauce to the rest of the sauce.
ENJOY: Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and parsley, if desired.