This is a regular feature in our weekday meals, an easy and quick recipe to knock up after work- using an instant pot makes it even quicker. I make this without even measuring anything, you really can be quite imprecise. You just need some cooked lentils, some kind of tomato component and lots of herbs and spices- you can throw in some good vegan red wine too for more depth of flavour. I like my sauce chunky and packed full of lentils, but adjust the recipe to suit your own tastes. Add less lentils, more tomatoes, or vice versa.
This is my regular Suma Blogger’s Network recipe and they were kind enough to send me some beautiful organic beluga lentils which I used here. Lentils get a bad rap for being boring and tasteless, but they are only as boring as the cook! Combine them with herbs and spices and you will have a hearty meal and an incredibly nutritious one too.
This is a big recipe, usually makes us at least 6-8 servings, meaning we have enough for everyone’s lunches the next day. I sometimes eat some leftover bolognese on top of a baked sweet potato too, for an even more nutrient dense meal. Chop some spinach on top at the end of cooking if you want to add some leafy greens as well.
We use gluten-free whole grain spaghetti pasta, usually corn and brown rice spaghetti, do make sure you opt for a whole grain, salt-free version.
This recipe is salt, oil and refined sugar free.
Preparation Time: approx 25 minutes ( not including lentils )
Makes 6-8 servings
Lentil sauce will keep well in the fridge for 3 days.
- 2 1/2 cups cooked beluga lentils ( I used Suma brand )
- approx 400g chopped tomatoes
- approx 250g tomato passata
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- black pepper to taste
- whole grain spaghetti pasta
- I usually start by cooking my lentils, 15 minutes in the instant pot on manual setting. Set aside.
- Saute the onion, using water or broth to prevent sticking. The best way to do this is let it brown a little, then add a few drops of water at a time.
- Once onion is soft add the garlic, herbs and spices, stirring gently.
- Start adding the chopped tomatoes and passata, a little at a time.
- Once all the tomatoes have been added, tip in the lentils and then switch from saute to slow cook if using the instant pot and put the lid on while you cook the spaghetti. I usually leave this about 10 minutes or so. If not using an instant pot, you just let it simmer on a low heat while cooking your pasta.
- Boil your spaghetti, drain well.
- Serve with the lentil bolognese on top of the pasta, and add some basil pesto on top.