I was about the weirdest kid when spaghetti night rolled around. First, I went through a stage where I only ate the noodles. Mom begged me to eat the sauce, but all I wanted was a big pile of noodles completely showered with Kraft parmesan cheese. (Real fancy, I know.)
Next was the phase where all I wanted was the sauce. A complete 180. I’d plop a mere half of a serving of noodles on my plate and smother them in about a cup of the meaty bolognese sauce. Not only that, but I saved the biggest pieces of hamburger meat for last, once all of the noodles were gone and I could eat the sauce by the spoonful.
Then came the period where I just didn’t want spaghetti. I found myself more interested in unusual veggies and herbs accompanying my pasta than a plain tomato sauce, so I skipped out on those spaghetti nights.
Becoming vegan didn’t suddenly arouse any repressed hamburger-spaghetti-sauce cravings, but when I decided to make a warm pasta dish the other night, a hearty tomato sauce just sounded good. Turns out lentils are this girl’s new best friend, and I looked just like my 10-year-old self sneaking spoonfuls of sauce straight from the bowl.
Lentil Bolognese Pasta
I found that rotini is the best pasta shape for holding onto this sauce. Although I omitted cheese, a nondairy mozzarella (or regular mozzarella or Parmesan, for you non-vegans) would make for a delicious topping.
¾ c. dry rotini
¼ c. cooked lentils
2 tbsp tomato paste
¼ – ½ tsp dried basil
salt & pepper
- Bring a small pot of water to boil on the stove. Cook pasta according to directions. Drain, but reserve 2-4 tbsp of the pasta water for the sauce.
- Mix lentils, tomato paste, basil, and reserved pasta water together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Microwave for 30-45 seconds, or until hot. Spoon the Bolognese sauce over the pasta, and serve immediately.