You won’t miss the meat in this recipe for spaghetti with vegetarian lentil bolognese. Extra hearty and totally veggie-filled, it is full of healthy comfort.
MEATLESS MEAT SAUCE.
My ancestors would not be pleased,
my brother is probably hyperventilating at just the thought,
and I’m pretty sure my mother is seriously considering the possibility that I was switched at birth.
But yes. I went there.
To be honest, posting this did give me pause, but not for obvious reasons.
Trashing up pretty much the most classic recipe in Italian history?
But sharing a PASTA recipe two days before New Years’s?
STOP THE MADNESS.
I’m sure someone will alert me to the fact that spaghetti is the devil’s work, but in my defense, it tastes so good!
Especially when smothered in a sauce so stuffed with veggie lentil fabulousness that you feel strangely compelled to faceplant into a bowl and eat your way out.
Lentils actually make for a great meat substitute – they mimic the texture of beef crumbles fairly well and add a certain earthy toothsome flair that makes you feel really good about every bite.
Plus they’re darn good for you in a high fiber low fat New Year’s diet-friendly kind of way.
Pasta and all.
If this is wrong, I don’t want to be right.
- 1 cup dried lentils
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ tsp dried thyme leaves
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- ½ cup red wine
- 28 oz whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 lb spaghetti
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- In a medium pot, combine the lentils with enough water to cover them. Season the water with salt. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer, cooking until lentils are tender, about 20-25 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Stir in the carrots, onion, bell pepper, garlic, thyme, oregano, and salt and black pepper, to taste. Saute until veggies are tender, about 6-8 minutes.
- Mix in the tomato paste and saute for another 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly, until the tomato paste has dissolved. Add the red wine, scraping up any bits sticking to the bottom of the pot. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer, cooking for 3-4 minutes, until the liquid has reduced by half.
- Add the whole peeled tomatoes to the pot, crushing the whole tomatoes with your hands as you add them in. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer, cooking for 10-15 minutes, or until the tomatoes start to break down. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Stir in the cooked lentils.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti until tender, but still firm, stirring occasionally, about 8-10 minutes. Strain and toss with the sauce. Serve topped with parmesan cheese.
For more veggie-filled pastas, check out these:
From Around the Web:
Caramelized Shallot, Spinach, and Goat Cheese Pasta from How Sweet Eats
Creamy Roasted Garlic, Broccoli, and Leek Pasta from Veggie and the Beast
Brown Butter Pasta with Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts from Two Peas and Their Pod
Cheesy Kale and Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Bake from Baker by Nature
Vegan Fettuccine Kalefredo from Oh My Veggies