I have found myself gravitating toward more vegetable based meals and, of course, with these chilly temperatures, warming comfort foods are a necessity. I love this lentil based “bolognese”. It is simple to make and pairs perfectly with polenta, pasta or a hunk of crusty bread.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 small onion, chopped
- 1 small carrot, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 2 (16-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 1/4 cups dried French green lentils
- 1 cup water
- Parmesan cheese, grated or shaved
- salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh basil, chopped (optional)
1. In a large dutch over, heat the the olive oil. Add the onion, carrot, celery, pepper and garlic and cook slowly until the vegetables soften and turn golden, about 15 minutes.
2. Increase heat to medium-high and add the tomato paste. Cook until the mixture dries out a bit, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, with juice, and oregano and cook for 15 minutes.
3. Stir in the lentils and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Season with the salt and pepper and simmer until the lentils are tender, 30 – 45 minutes. depending on the lentils. Add additional water as needed, 1/2 cup at a time.
4. Garnish with fresh Parmesan and Basil.
Katie Cavuto MS RD