Now I love Italian food and I also love red lentils. What a better way to combine them than in a rich and creamy bolognese sauce that will warm your bellies on cold days and get you all the protein you need?! I usually make a big batch of this sauce so I can either feed 4 people or freeze one or two portions of it to enjoy another day when I don’t have time to cook. Also, the sauce tastes great the day after if you want to take some left-overs for lunch.
Again, it is one of those recipes that is easy and also easy on your wallet, but fills you without being too bad for you. For the pasta you can go for wholemeal spaghetti or gluten free or whatever you want to. I guess you could even use it in a lasagna… Might try this soon myself!
Here is what you need for the Bolognese sauce (makes about 4-5 servings):
2 cups dried split red lentils
4 cups of water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely diced
1 garlic glove, finely diced
2 medium-sized carrots, cut in 2mm thick slices, then quartered
1 turnip, cut in 2mm thick slices, then quartered OR: 1/4 of a celery root, cut in 2mm thick slices, then quartered
about 150 gr of mushrooms, finely diced
500g sieved tomatos (passata)
1 cup of red wine
1 teaspoon mild paprika powder
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
handful of fresh basil (alternatively: 1 teaspoon of dried basil)
pinch of sugar
salt and pepper
First, rinse the lentils and then place them with the 4 cups of water in a pot. Bring to a boil and let them simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes until the lentils are mushy. Meanwhile, prepare and chop the vegetables. Then, in a big pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and the garlic and fry for about 2 minutes until the onions are translucent. Add the paprika powder and the diced vegetables and fry for another 3 to 4 minutes. Deglaze the whole thing by adding your cup of red wine to the pan.
Now add the pot of mushy lentils. There might be some liquid left, but don’t worry about it, just add the whole thing into the pan. Also pour the passata into the pan, add the dried herbs and give it a good stir. Let the sauce simmer for 10 minutes. If it needs more liquid, add some water (or wine) until you have a consistency that you like.I prefer mine rather thick. Add the pinch of sugar (balances the acidity of the tomato) and season to taste with salt and pepper. Coarsely chop the fresh basil and sprinkle it over the sauce. Serve sauce with your prepared pasta and maybe some more basil for decoration on top. Enjoy!