Despite being a carnivore, I end up eating vegetarian on a fairly regular basis. This is largely because I’m not organized enough to get meat out of the freezer so that it’s thawed and ready to cook by suppertime. I’m what you’d call a lazytarian. Anyway, I decided one evening last week that I wanted a tomato-based sauce but with lentils instead of ground beef and I also wanted to use that package of mushrooms in my crisper. Type it all in to Google and I found this recipe from Canadian Living. Easy, tasty, healthy, cheap, one-pot and using stuff I already had in my house. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups lentils, rinsed
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes in puree (I used diced tomatoes instead)
- Coarse salt and ground pepper (I always leave this out)
- 2/3 cup low-fat plain yogurt (I left this out)
- 1 1/2 pounds spaghetti or linguine (I served mine on top of quinoa)
- Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
- 500g sliced mushrooms (optional)
- In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add lentils and thyme; cook, stirring, until lentils are coated, about 2 minutes.
- Break up tomatoes using your hands or a spoon and then add along with puree. Add 4 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover tightly, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender and starting to break down, about 45 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. If eating right away, stir in yogurt.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente according to package instructions; drain. Toss with sauce and top with grated Parmesan if desired.
Wine recommendation: A Prince Edward County Pinot Noir. The earthiness in the wine matches perfectly with the mushrooms.