Red Lentil Pasta Sauce (Vegan)
Hey guys! I decided to share my recipe for a simple favorite today – Red Lentil Pasta Sauce. This is one of our go-to’s in our household and often leads to my husband being uncomfortably full because he always goes back for seconds (sometimes thirds!). The whole recipe is simple and gets dinner on the table in about half an hour. So, let’s get to it…
Serves: 4-6 Prep Time: 5 min Cook Time: 25-30 min
- 1-2 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 2 cups of vegetable or “no-chicken” broth
- 1 cup of red lentils
- 1 whole yellow onion sliced or chopped
- 4-6 garlic cloves sliced or minced
- 28 oz. canned diced tomatoes in tomato juice
- 1 can (9.9 oz.) Trader Joe’s Grecian Style Eggplant with Tomatoes & Onions (optional, but so much better with it!)
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp. dried parsley (oregano also works to change up the flavor)
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (we tend to like it with 1/2)
- sea salt to taste
- 17.6 oz. (500g) of pasta*
*We’ve used this sauce on all types of pasta from spaghetti to rigatoni. I prefer it on thicker pastas or tube pastas – also good on spaghetti squash!
To begin, get about 3.5 quarts of water boiling in a large pot for your pasta. I like to add a little EVOO (to keep the pasta from sticking to itself) and pinch of salt (for flavor) to the water. Prepare pasta according to the instructions on the package.
FYI, if you were curious on what pasta I used, here it is:
For the sauce, pour the EVOO in a medium-sized pot over medium heat. The sauce will all be cooked in this one pot! Then, slice the onion and garlic cloves and add them to the pot once the oil is at temperature (to test it, simply flick some water over the oil and see if it is hot enough to sizzle). Sauté the onions and garlic for 5 minutes until the onions become translucent. Stir regularly to keep them from burning/sticking to the pot.
Add the lentils and the broth to the pot and raise the temperature to high. Stir regularly until the mixture comes to a boil. Add the can of diced tomatoes to the pot (be careful not to splatter hot broth on yourself!) and then add the smoked paprika, dried parsley, and red pepper flakes. Bring the sauce back to a boil and then cover with a lid and lower it to a simmer for 10 minutes.
Finally, add the can of Grecian Eggplant mixture to the sauce and break it up in the sauce into bite-sized chunks using your wooden spoon. Continue to simmer uncovered for 5-10 minutes more until the sauce is at your desired thickness. Note: the water for my pasta is usually boiling by this step and I can cook the pasta as my sauce finishes.
We like to serve our pasta topped with a fresh basil chiffonade and a sprinkling of hulled hemp seeds.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do in our home! This is a hearty sauce that always leaves me feeling happy and satisfied. Especially when paired with a glass of red wine…