Nothing like a Bank Holiday Monday to sharpen the mind & get one's derrière in gear! Have been meaning to write up this meat-free recipe for ages - so Jackie, Roisin & Aidan, Carcassonne Kula, whoever else, here ye finally go!
This is very easy to make, chock full of veggie & herb & plant protein goodness & hits the 'mm mmm mmmm' taste spot too. I make this quantity below or even a bigger quantity & freeze. So fab to have to hand when you're famished & the cupboard is bare... Filled with protein, fibre, lycopene, Vitamin C, you name it. Also, most important of all - it really is quite D E L I C I O U S.
Enjoy & bon appétit!
Yoga Lili x
2 Onions - diced finely
4 Fat Garlic Cloves - freshly crushed
3 Celery Stalks - sliced finely
2 Large Carrots - grated
2 Medium Courgettes - grated
1 Large Red Pepper - diced roughly
300g Fresh Mushrooms (your choice!) - finely sliced or chopped small.
2 Tins (typically 400g) Chopped Tomatoes (San Marzano variety if you can get them)
4-6 Tblsp Tomato Puree
350g dried Green Lentils - rinsed (or use tinned but dried are better for taking on flavour)
400ml water OR Vegetable stock (the Lentils will absorb a lot of the Tinned Tomato liquid & will need extra) - note - you may not need all 400ml
Vegetarian Worcestershire sauce (for that Umami hit) - a good splash
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Irish Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 tsp Dried Thyme
2 tsp Dried Oregano
1 tsp Dried Marjoram
1 Tsp Dried Sage
1 Small Glass Red Wine (drinkable, not any old gut-rot! Flavour counts in cooking too).
Dried or fresh Spaghetti (or Linguine)
Fresh Basil torn
Fresh Italian (Flat-Leaf) Parsley chopped
Vegan/Dairy-Free: Nutritional Yeast (aka 'Nooch')
Vegetarian: Freshly shaved Parmesan or Grano Padano (or Ricotta or even crumbled Feta work well too).
*Heat the EV Olive Oil in a heavy-bottomed large frying pan (which has a matching lid) or use a heavy-bottomed large saucepan & lid.
*On low heat, sweat (use the lid) the chopped Onion until softened/translucent.
*Still on low, add the Garlic & dried Herbs. DO NOT LET THE GARLIC BURN.
*Turning the heat up one level (low-to-medium), now add the grated Carrot. Sweat for 3 more minutes.
*Next add the grated Courgette. Sweat for 2 minutes.
*Now turn the heat up one more level (medium to medium high) & add the chopped Mushrooms. Cook on medium high for 3 minutes.
*Add the chopped Red Pepper.
*Add the Red Wine now & turn the heat up to almost highest setting to boil off the alcohol - 2-3 minutes.
*Season again with salt & pepper - use your seasoning modestly (you can adjust at end).
*Still on nearly highest heat setting, now add the two tins Chopped Tomatoes & stir/mix all the vegetables throughout.
*Add the Lentils now. Assess how much extra stock/water you may need to add.
*Once the Lentils have come almost to a boil, keep on a high simmer with lid on for 20-30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
*Halfway through, add in both the Tomato Paste & the Worcestershire sauce & stir thoroughly.
*Towards the end, separately bring to boil lotsa water for your pasta, add generous amount of salt & cook according to the pack instructions.
*Check the seasoning of the sauce.
*Drain the pasta, serve immediately in warmed wide Pasta bowls & pile on your sauce on top.
*Sprinkle liberally with the Basil & Parsley & add your Nooch or Cheese as you wish.
Let me know what you think!