For those of you who are vegan, vegetarian or just want to go meatless, this recipe sounded pretty darn yummy. I love lentils and try to use them wherever I can as they are a great source of protein and fibre. What can I say – I love mushrooms too so you can see why this recipe resonated with me. (photo by One Hungry Mama)
Check it out at – http://onehungrymama.com/2014/07/mushroom-and-lentil-bolognese-sauce/
Mushroom and Lentil “Bolognese” Sauce
(Can be shared with kids 6+ mos)*
Makes enough sauce for 2 lbs of pasta
2 teaspoons neutral oil such as grapeseed (you can substitute olive oil)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 8-ounce package baby bella mushrooms (you can substitute white button mushrooms)
1/4 cup red wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup brown lentils, rinsed
1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
2-3 cups water
2 bay leaves
5 fresh basil leaves, torn
Salt and fresh pepper
Extra virgin olive oil, to finish
1. Heat oil in a large dutch oven set over medium heat. Once hot, add garlic, carrot, celery and onion. Saute until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, stir and cook for 5 more minutes.
2. Add wine and cook until it’s cooked off by about three quarters. Add tomato paste and cook for a full minute, stirring all the while, to “toast” it.
3. Add lentils, chopped tomatoes, tomato sauce, 2 cups of water and bay leaves to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the lentils are cooked through and the sauce thickens to desired consistency. If it thickens too quickly, leaving you with not enough sauce, add up to one more cup of water, 1/2 cup at a time.
4. Take off heat and stir in basil leaves. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Finish with a healthy glug of olive oil. Spoon over pasta to serve; top with Parmesan cheese, unless you want to keep this vegan.
*Note: This is a wonderful sauce to share with little ones 6+ months. In fact, you don’t even have to add it to pasta! Just puree or mash it to an age appropriate consistency—with or without pasta, polenta, orzo, or cereal—and serve.