This is a really hearty pasta dish that uses lentils in place of meat and is a great option for “meatless Monday”. I learned to love lentils after living in Umbria, and prefer to use the small beige or green lentils in my kitchen. Lentils are a nutritional powerhouse, and are high in fiber, are an excellent source of six important minerals, two B vitamins, and protein. Best of all they are fat free!
This sauce has a deep, rich flavor, and when tossed with pasta will please everyone in the family and no one will even miss the meat. Simply add a mixed green salad and a loaf of crusty Italian bread to create a complete meal.
- 2 Tablespoons Olive oil
- 1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Onion
- 1/3 Cup Finely Chopped Carrot
- 1/3 Cup Finely Chopped Celery
- 4 Garlic Cloves, Minced
- 1 Cup Dry White Wine
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 2 (16 Ounce) Cans Chopped Tomatoes
- 1/3 Cup Finely Chopped Fresh Parsley
- 1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Fresh Basil
- 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 1 Cup Water
- Salt And Pepper
- 1 1/3 Cups Small Green Or Beige Lentils
- 1 Pound Pasta of Choice
- Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese
- In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic.
- Cook over medium low heat until the vegetables are soft and beginning to brown, about 10 to 12 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste and wine and increase the heat to medium high.
- Cook, stirring often until the wine has evaporated, about 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, parsley, basil, oregano. water, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium low and add the lentils.
- Cook, stirring occasionally until the lentils are tender, about 30 to 40 minutes depending on the lentils used.
- If the sauce begins to dry out, add additional water as needed.
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions, then drain.
- Toss the pasta with the sauce then serve immediately, offering grated cheese at the table.