If you love bolognaise but also love lentils (or would like to try including more lentils into your world) I highly recommend trying this. It’s DELICIOUS. Just like I would make beef or beef and pork based bolognaise I used garlic, bay leaves, herbs, red wine, carrots , celery and mushrooms in this, so the flavour is rich and warming just like a traditional bolognaise. Using lentils instead of meat gives this sauce a lighter texture. It’s beautiful.
Lentils provide wonderful fibre and are also a source of iron so this is a great pasta sauce for vegetarians, vegans or those who struggle to include enough iron rich foods. I will also add that my meat loving partner devoured a big bowl full of spaghetti with this sauce, he claims to not like lentils yet loved this – a good sign I say!
This sauce is also versatile. Use as a pasta sauce one day, in a shepherds pie the next, with quinoa, cous cous or rice the next. Plus it freezes really well.
This recipe makes a nice amount for 2 people, with leftovers for the next day (or to freeze). If feeding more people I suggest doubling this recipe.
To make you’ll need:
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 tsp. (or more) of chilli flakes
- ~ 1-2 tsp. dried oregano
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 3 small/2 medium carrots, chopped
- 3 medium celery sticks, chopped
- 6-8 small mushrooms, chopped
- 1 400g tin of brown lentils, drained and rinsed
- 1 400g tin crushed tomatoes
- A splash of red wine
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh parsley (~ 1/2 bunch, leaves removed and chopped)
- In a large saucepan, add garlic, chilli and a splash of olive oil and simmer on low briefly. Then add carrots, celery, mushrooms, oregano, bay leaves and simmer, stirring for a minute or so.
- Add tinned tomatoes, a little water and simmer on low for a few minutes until the veggies begin to cook and flavours richen.
- Then add lentils, a splash of red wine, salt and pepper and simmer on low, stirring occasionally, allowing the sauce to reduce and richen in flavour. Now you don’t need to add all the lentils, you can use 3/4 of a can and place the rest in a container and freeze to use another day in a soup, curry or pasta sauce.
- Add chopped parsley, stir in, and simmer for a little longer until desired thickness is achieved. I’ve found the flavour to be best when sauce is simmered for about 45mins or a bit longer, however you don’t need to cook for this long.
- Taste and season if need.
- Serve with pasta, a little cheese and fresh herbs if you like too.