Recently, I have been on a lentil kick. Well, to be honest I have a full pantry and there are so many jars filled with all kinds of legumes, which I never touch. Like these pretty little beluga lentils. They are easy to prepare because you don’t have to soak them. Their cooking time is under 30 minutes and they are a great choice, if you feel like legumes, but don’t want to plan ahead too much.
Lentils are a fantastic base for spaghetti sauces and combined with tomatoes, peppers, and a decent amount of spices they make a very filling and delicious sauce, which will make you reach for a second serving. This sauce is very thick and comforting and if you have leftovers, you can spread them on toasted french bread or eat it with crackers and pretzels for a hearty snack.
Spaghetti with Beluga Lentil Sauce (serves 2)
50 g (1/4 cup) beluga lentils
150 g (1 cup, chopped) red bell pepper
1 small onion (1/3 cup, chopped)
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup plain tomato sauce (passierte Tomaten)
1 chipotle in adobo + 1 t adobo sauce from the can
1 t salt (or to taste)
1 t Hungarian paprika
1 t dried thyme
1 t dried marjoram
15 g (1/4 cup) textured vegetable protein (TVP)
pepper to taste
whole wheat spaghetti for serving, prepared according to package directions.
Cook the lentils according to package directions (I cooked mine in 1 1/2 c of water, for 25 minutes).
Heat a large cast iron pan to medium-high heat.
Combine chopped pepper, chopped onion, garlic, tomato sauce, and chipotle + sauce in a food processor and process until mostly smooth. Drain the lentils Pour the puréed vegetables into the hot pan and immediately add remaining ingredients. Lower the heat to medium and cook for 10-15 minutes until the consistency has thickened up. Mix with pasta and serve immediately.