Lentils are so versatile aren’t they? They are used across the world in so many different ways. Hot, cold, in a daal, in a salad or in this case, in a simple tomato sauce with pasta. This is a go-to for our family as you can make the sauce ahead of time and just cook the pasta when you’re ready to eat! Making this one a great meal prep dish for those stretched for time.
Lentils are also a highly nutritious food, rich in minerals, protein and fibre which means for vegetarians and vegans they are an amazing addition to the diet in the place of meat, fish and dairy products. This doesn’t mean that meat-eaters shouldn’t enjoy them too! They are a super cheap way to add iron into your diet and another way to get bowels moving – which isn’t such a bad thing right!
As I said, you can make this sauce ahead of time, it will keep in the fridge in an air tight container for a couple days and it freezes really well too, so why not just make a big batch and keep it in the freezer for a rainy, lazy day! I love using Mutti Pomodoro – the tomatoes aren’t bitter which means you don’t need to add any sugar to the sauce! It’s our go-to out here, but I would recommend giving your sauce a taste and if it needs it, add half a teaspoon of sugar to it just to take the edge off.
Serves: 4 people
Prep time: 5 Minutes Cook time: 50 minutes Total time: 55 minutes
Ingredients 400g Crushed tomatoes 400g Tinned lentils, drained & rinsed 2 Garlic clove, lightly crushed 1 Tbsp Olive oil 1/2 Tsp Salt 1/4 Tsp Pepper 5 Fresh Basil leaves 350g Conchigliette
Place a medium sauce pan on a high heat, pour in the crushed tomatoes, lentils and olive oil. Add the garlic and season with salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for around 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once the sauce has reduced and thickened, add the fresh basil and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Cook your pasta according to the instructions in salted water – I like to use little shells as they hold the lentils perfectly. Drain but keep a mug of water aside.
Combine the sauce with the pasta, and only add the water gradually if it needs to be lengthened a little.
Serve with some additional fresh basil leaves and a lovely helping of grated parmesan.