Heat up a heavy bottom pot over medium low flame and sautee the onion with a pinch of sea salt and a splash of water until translucent. Quickly stir in the garlic taking care not to burn it.
Add the mushrooms and walnuts, toss to coat well then hit it with the hemp milk (or your favorite plant milk). Simmer until almost all liquid has evaporated. Hit it with the wine and simmer away until reduced by half.
Sprinkle in the smoked paprika, onion flakes and mushroom powder (or rehydrated porcini). Stir well.
Add the soy sauce and San Marzano tomatoes, roughly crushing them with your hands as you add them to the pot. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a simmer.
Stir in the lentils, thyme and bay leaves then bring to a gentle simmer. Cover with a tight lid and cook on low flame for about 30 minutes until the lentils have softened to your liking and the sauce has thickened. Adjust seasonings with sea salt and serve promptly with the fresh basil and chili flakes on top.
Meanwhile cook your spaghetti or favorite pasta reserving some of the pasta water. Toss with the ragu and stretch it out with the reserved water if needed.
The ragu is delicious made with cremini mushrooms but honestly if you add the porcini powder or some rehydrated porcini mushrooms to the mix it will take it to a whole new level of slow cooked rich flavor awesomeness.
If chestnuts are in season you can use those instead of walnuts. They make a really nice buttery addition to the sauce.