Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Lentil Bolognese

There are many people in this world who would never give up eating meat. I am definitely one of those people.

I did, however, spend a short period of time as a vegetarian when I was a teenager. In fact I went meat free for so long that the first few times I ate meat again, it made me sick.
I remember it pretty vividly because I was out for dinner at a Chinese restaurant with my boyfriend at the time. It was also the first time I was meeting his family. Its all very "movie like" but having to excuse yourself to be sick isn't exactly one the top ten list of things you want to happen when meeting your boyfriends parents!

If you're someone who cant fathom the thought of giving up meat entirely then maybe consider just having at least one meat free night a week. Not only does it have tremendous health benefits it also helps to reduce your carbon footprint.

This lentil bolognese is packed full of flavour and vegetables. I cant take the credit for this recipe. It did come from my mum although I did cook it myself before writing this post (and made some slight adjustments).

1 tbl spoon Olive Oil
1 brown onion - diced
2 cloves garlic - crushed
1 large carrot - diced
2 stalks celery - diced
1 red capsicum - diced
1 x 400gm can diced tomatoes
575gm jar tomato pasta sauce
1 tbl spoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tbl spoon balsamic vinegar
2 tsp oregano paste
200gm button mushrooms - diced
1 x 375gm can brown lentils
500gm spaghetti

1. Heat the oil in a large heavy based saucepan over medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes or until onion is just starting to soften. Add the carrot, celery and capsicum. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until starting to soften. Pour in the can of diced tomatoes, pasta sauce, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar and the oregano. Stir until well combined. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes.

2. Stir the sauce to stop the vegetables from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add the mushrooms and lentils. Cover and cook for a further 10 minutes. *Adding the mushrooms and lentils last prevents them from becoming overcooked and mushy.

3. Meanwhile, place another saucepan over high heat. Fill with water, sprinkle generously with salt. Bring to the boil. Once at a rapid boil. Add the spaghetti. Cook as per packet instructions, generally 11 minutes.

4. Drain the spaghetti and divide amongst bowls, top generously with sauce. If you like, sprinkle with fresh herbs and/or cheese.

1 comment:

  1. I like this served with wholemeal pasta, and I don't use the shop bought passata or pasta sauce, it just means a little more work but you still get a good flavour