I tend to go through phases with foods and lately my go to recipe of choice has been whole wheat spaghetti with a homemade lentil and vegetable pasta sauce. Since I don’t eat meat, there is no spaghetti and meatballs in my house. However, lentils are a great plant-based protein source, containing around 10 g of protein per ¼ cup (dry). Another plus for lentils is that they have 0 grams of fat and 11 grams of fiber (per ¼ cup, dry). Animal based proteins on the other hand all contain fat and lack fiber.
Here is my recipe:
- Lentils of choice
- Whole wheat pasta of choice
- Green pepper (diced) – I actually used a lavender pepper a few weeks ago that I had picked up at the Farmer’s Market, so really whatever color bell pepper you prefer or have at home is fine!
- Onion (diced)
- Canned tomatoes (diced)*
- Olive oil* (small amount)
- *OR tomato based pasta sauce of your choice if you don’t have these ingredients around!
I’m not listing amounts because it really just depends how much you want to make. I tend to make large batches because the sauce keeps easily in a plastic refrigerated container with lid and pasta can be tossed with a small amount of oil and sealed in a plastic bag in the fridge as well for another few meals!
- Simmer lentils until they reach desired tenderness (about 15-20 minutes)
- While lentils are cooking, dice onion and pepper.
- Start boiling water for pasta.
- In a sauce pan combine diced canned tomatoes, a small amount of olive oil (or pasta sauce of your choice), green peppers and onions. Heat on medium to medium high, stirring occasionally.
- Add in basil, garlic, and oregano to taste. Continue to stir.
- Cook pasta.
- When lentils are done, drain and stir in to pasta sauce mixture.
- Drain pasta, top with sauce mixture, and ENJOY!
- Oh yes – and save the left overs. Very convenient to take to work the next day!
Obviously this recipe does take a bit longer than the previous recipes I have posted (here, here, here, and here), but not too long. When I do cook, I make sure to make large amounts so that I have future meals that don’t require prep work.
What is your favorite pasta recipe? Have you ever added lentils to pasta sauce before? What other, somewhat different pasta sauces have you made or eaten before?