Showing posts with label pasta sauce recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pasta sauce recipes. Show all posts

Friday, January 5, 2018

Hearty Lentil Tomato Sauce (for pasta)

If you are looking for a flavorful, rich vegetarian alternative to traditional Bolognese sauce made with ground beef, here you go! My hearty lentil tomato sauce is absolutely delicious, healthy and filling. Perfect for a cold winter’s night when comfort food is required.

Years ago both of our girls were vegetarian, and even now, the younger one eats mostly vegetarian when she’s not at home. During that time, I started exploring vegetarian recipes and figuring out how to recreate some of our family favorites without meat. Taste was of the utmost importance but I also wanted to add protein, to make up for the lack of meat.

Lentils are one of the best pulses or legumes for this. They don’t require soaking. They cook up quickly and are great at taking on whatever flavors are added to them. Their only downside, especially if you use the green Puy lentils, is the color. If you can overlook that, lentils are a vegetarian’s best friend.

Tip: This hearty lentil tomato sauce freezes beautifully so it’s worth doubling the recipe and freezing half in a sealed freezer bag for another family meal.

Hearty Lentil Tomato Sauce

Whether you just do “meatless Monday” or eat vegetarian all the time, you will want to add hearty lentil tomato sauce to your family meal plan. This will easily feed four hungry people when served on top of pasta.

1 cup or 200g dried Puy lentils
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 ripe large tomatoes (about 1 lb or 450g)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Sea salt and black pepper - to taste
handful basil and parsley chopped plus extra to garnish
1 tomato, deseeded and chopped
2 handfuls sliced black olives, optional - we love 'em but I know some people don't.    Use more, less or none, according to your taste

To serve: your favorite pasta, cooked to package instructions

Rinse the lentils, picking through them to make sure there aren’t any little rocks, and set aside to drain.

Sauté the chopped onions and garlic in the olive oil till softened. Add in the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, bay leaf and baking soda. Stir well.

Cook over a medium heat for just a few minutes, then add in the rinsed lentils, plus 2 cups or 480ml water along with the smoked paprika and crushed red pepper flakes.

Bring the pot to a gentle boil then turn the fire down to simmer. Cook, covered for about 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more water, if necessary.

When the lentils are cooked, stir in the chopped basil and parsley and a handful of the sliced black olives, if using. Also, add half of the extra chopped tomato. I took the photo before the tomato half went in, but don't forget to add it. A little uncooked tomato brightens up the flavor.

Garnish with the other half of the tomato, more herbs and more black olive slices, if desired. Serve over your favorite cooked pasta.


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