Recipe – Lentil and Hidden Veg Pasta Sauce

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Pasta – always a winner

I posted a very rough outline of this recipe on my Instagram a few days ago and it was so popular I thought it’d be good to get the recipe up here too. It’s a bit of an “anything goes” recipe so if you’re like me and you like to tweak things to suit your tastes or what you have in the fridge, then this is the one for you. Have fun experimenting with what works, and enjoy the smug feeling that comes with knowing your fussy-eaters are tucking in to SO much goodness without even realising it.

Serves: Up to 8, depending on how much you throw into it!

Ingredients

The basic base of this sauce is always the same:

1 onion. finely diced

1 clove garlic, chopped

2 sticks celery, finely chopped

1 large carrot, finely chopped

1 Tbsp tomato puree

200ml vegetable stock (you may need to increase or decrease the amount of liquid you use depending on how much veg you add later on)

2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes

1 Tsp Dried mixed herbs

Handful of roughly chopped fresh basil

Chilli flakes, to taste (optional)

400g tin of green lentils

To serve: nutritional yeast (optional)

The rest is then up to you – you can add as few or as many different varieties of veg as you want. The last time I made it, here’s what I used:

100g Mushrooms

1 yellow pepper

1 courgette

100g frozen broad beans

200g spinach

100g sweetcorn (tinned or frozen is fine)

Handful of frozen peas

You could also use aubergine, broccoli, cauliflower, chick peas, kale – whatever you have, chuck it in!

 

Method

  1. Heat some oil in a large pan or casserole, and add the garlic, onion, celery and carrot. Fry gently for a few minutes until soft.
  2. Add the rest of your veg and fry it all up until it’s starting to soften, reduce down and smell lovely.
  3. Add the tomato puree,  tinned tomatoes, dried and fresh herbs and chilli flakes (if using), then bring to the boil. Turn down and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the sauce is reducing and thickening, adding vegetable stock  as necessary if it looks too thick/dry.
  4. Using a ladle, scoop the sauce out of the pan into a blender (you may need to do this in batches depending on how much sauce you’ve made and how big your blender is). Whizz until it’s the desired consistency (I like it quite fine so my toddler can’t pick anything out that she doesn’t like the look of but you can leave it more chunky if you like) then put the blended sauce back into the pan.
  5. Add the lentils and heat through again until bubbling.
  6. Season to your own taste, then serve with pasta and a generous sprinkling of nutritional yeast for an extra boost of B vitamins.

Other recipes you might like:

Tofu and Veg Satay Stir Fry

Sweet Potato, Chickpea and Spinach Curry

Veggie Paella

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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