When I was growing up, we ate spaghetti EVERY. MONDAY. NIGHT. Don’t take that as a complaint. I loved spaghetti night. My Dad made the best sauce. He would put mushrooms, onions and ground beef in it and use a jar of Prego. We’d put the shakey parmesan cheese from Kraft on top and eat bread with lots of butter. If I close my eyes, I can smell and taste it.
For some reason, I cannot put ground beef in pasta anymore. I guess my taste buds have changed and I just don’t like it anymore. I’m probably just not making it like my Dad does.
If you also don’t like ground beef in pasta, you should absolutely try this pasta with lentils. It has a rich and deep meaty flavor that I find better than meat. I’ve made a lot of veggie pastas with just vegetables, but they never have as much flavor as this recipe. The way the wine and tomato paste blends with the lentils and carrots is very satisfying. I initially found the recipe here.
Here’s a money saving tip if you don’t feel like drinking the rest of the bottle of wine. I pour about half a cup of wine into small plastic containers and freeze each one. Then when I need half a cup of wine for a recipe, I just squeeze it out of the container into whatever I’m making.
Green lentil bolognese
Preptime: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
1 cup dried green lentils
1 large yellow onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine
2 14oz cans diced tomatoes
1 box spaghetti
Place the lentils in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil for about 20 minutes while you make the sauce.
Heat the olive oil a Dutch oven. Add the onion and cook for about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about another minute. Add the carrots and bell pepper, cooking for about 3 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper, thyme and oregano. Add the tomato paste, red wine and diced tomatoes. Drain the lentils and add to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
While the sauce is simmering, cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and coat with a little olive oil.
To serve, put some spaghetti in a bowl, top with sauce and parmesan cheese. Serve with good, crusty bread.