I love lentils, and I’m always looking for ways use them. Something that’s easy, versatile and will not only be great with pasta, but also delicious on brown rice or with quinoa. Lentils are super nutritious and are packed with both protein and fiber.
I also love Italian. So the other day I started playing around with a Lentil Bolognese recipe, and it came out utterly wonderful. The next time I eat it with pasta, I’ll use a whole grain penne pasta or shell pasta. I also think this sauce would make into a wonderful lasagna. I can’t wait to try that. I think it would also be a treat on spaghetti squash or on some of my fun zoodles! Yes, this Bolognese could easily become one of my mid-week staples.
I also finally got around to making another batch of wonderful cashew Parmesan cheese. It’s to die for good and the perfect touch for this dish. You’ll love how this tastes. So let’s get that set up so it’s ready when dinner is served.
Easy Cashew Parmesan
- 1/2 cup raw cashew nuts
- 3 teaspoons nutritional yeast
Place in a high-speed blender until crumbly. Store in a glass container.
Now for the Bolognese….
Easy Lentil Bolognese with Cashew Parmesan
- 2 to 3 small leeks or 2 small brown onions, finely diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 carrots, diced
- 2 ribs of celery, diced
- Water or vegetable broth to sauté the vegetables in
- 2 14.5-oz cans of Stewed Italian Recipe Tomatoes with Oregano and Basil, diced
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups of cooked lentils (I used red, but next time I’m going to use green or brown which hold their shape better. I cooked my fresh, but you could use canned lentils.
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- ⅓ cup chopped walnuts
Next, add the tomatoes, water, lentils, maple syrup and dried herbs, salt (not too much) and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or so.
While this is simmering, cook your pasta, rice or quinoa. If you use spaghetti squash, I would have this pre-cooked and ready to serve when the Bolognese is finished.
Once the Bolognese is finished cooking, remove the bay leaf, then add the walnuts. The omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts are very unstable at high temperatures so you don’t want to heat these – just add them to the sauce.
Buon appetito, Karen