When I was a teenager I ate noodles or pasta every day. It was my go-to meal. If I was asked what I wanted for dinner it would have something to do with noodles or pasta, basically semolina and water.
Fast forward a few years (just a few) and now I am a runner, and I get jokes about carb-loading before a race. It’s seen by non-runners as the most enjoyable part of running. You do a heap of training for an event, and the reward is carb-loading. I’ve never really bought into that, even though I love carbs. And since researching exactly what carb-loading is, I now realise that there is not so much reward in carb-loading because the science behind it is that you deplete yourself of carbs ten days out from a race and then carb-load to get the carbohydrates back in and available for race day.
Anyway, I don’t carb load and I don’t subscribe to the theory of eating lots of carbs just because I run, but I do love carbs, especially pasta and noodles.
For some time, whenever I thought about a quick meal, it involved a large pot of boiling, salted water cooking some spaghetti and a tonne of mince meat. Mix it all up with some bottled spaghetti sauce that was probably full of sugar and salt and other preservatives and additives to keep it usable for at least twelve months and there’s your quick and easy meal.
These days I still use the big pot of boiling, salted water to cook the spaghetti but now my sauce is made from fresh tomatoes and lentils and lots of fresh vegetables.
You can use any type of spaghetti or pasta, regular or gluten free for this recipe. Just follow the directions on the pack to cook until it’s al-dente. I often use bean pasta as it has less gluten, but use the pasta or spaghetti that you love.
This meal is from my cookbook The Little Book of Vegan Dinners. If you like this one, there are lots more recipes in the book to try for quick and easy dinner meals.
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Lentil Spaghetti Bolognaise
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 25 mins
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 4 serves
- Category: Main Dish
- Cuisine: Italian
- 200 g bean spaghetti
- 1 tbsp macadamia oil
- 1 brown onion (finely chopped)
- 2 celery sticks (chopped)
- 1 cup mushrooms (sliced)
- 2 carrots (peeled and coarsely grated)
- 2 cloves garlic cloves (crushed)
- ½ cup split red lentils (dried)
- 4 tomatoes (chopped)
- 500 ml vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- salt (to taste)
- pepper (to taste)
- Cook the spaghetti in a large saucepan according to the directions on the pack. Drain and return to pan.
- While the spaghetti is cooking, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the onion, celery, mushrooms, carrots and garlic and cook, stirring for 5 minutes or until the vegetables soften.
- Stir in the lentils, tomatoes, stock and tomato paste.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Increase heat to medium-high and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes or until the mixture thickens.
- Stir sauce through the spaghetti and serve.
Nutrition info based on wholewheat pasta