Since I took the step to vegetarianism I must admit that I have taken a liking to cooking, before, I swear that for nothing in the world I touched a pan and now every day I look for an excuse to experiment with anything. And as I already mentioned, we are 100% lentil lovers here. So a few weeks ago, looking to mix the lentils with the pasta, I started the arduous research of transforming the lentils with a Bolognese sauce.
|300G LENTEJAS||300G LENTILS|
|1 PIMIENTO||1 CAPSICUM|
|2 CEBOLLA ROJA PEQUEÑAS||2 LITTLE ONIONS|
|3 AJOS||3 GARLICS|
|SAL AL GUSTO||SALT TO TASTE|
|PIMIENTA AL GUSTO||PEPPER TO TASTE|
|2 TOMATES||2 TOMATOS|
|160 GR PASTA DE TOMATE||160 GR TOMATO PASTE|
|500 GR PASTA||500 GR PASTA|
So we will start by washing our lentils well, removing some impurities, and then placing them in a pot to cook, we put a small spoonful of salt to give them flavor. Remember to always check the lentils until the grain is soft so that we can stop the cooking once it is ready.
While our lentils are cooking, we will cut both tomatoes into four halves each (or however is more convenient for you to blend) and put them in our blender with water, which will reach the same height as our tomatoes and blend!
We will take the rest of our vegetables and cut them into small squares and then take them to a pan with little oil. I am going to cook them because I like to have them this way in my food, but if you don't want or don't like them you can blend them together with the tomatoes.
Once our vegetables are in the pan, we will add salt and pepper to taste and we will sauté them until they are golden, when they start to take color we will cover them so that the vegetables throw away a little bit of their own liquid and intensify their flavors. Here it starts to smell very good!
I usually let the vegetables cook for about 6 or 7 minutes (always sauté them so they don't get burned) until I notice that they look pretty soft, once they are ready I add the tomato that we had previously blended and move it around until the sauce manages to cook a bit and changes its color. In this procedure I have already lowered the fire, the intention is that the flavors mix very well, so we can leave it in this process about five minutes more.
Since the sauce that we had liquefied goes from pink to red, we will put the 160gr of tomato paste on it. This serves to make the mixture much more colourful and tasty.
And now for the most interesting part. We will strain our lentils already cooked (don't throw away the water from them, you can keep it and then make a soup with it) and we will incorporate them in our sauce, with the fire under, we will move them so that our lentils are impregnated very well with the rest of the flavors.
While our lentils are acquiring the taste of our sauce, plus we allow it to thicken a little more by keeping them in the fire. We will cook our pasta to our liking, I in particular put some oil and salt in the water, let it boil and add the pasta, I chose this one in the shape of a screw. About 10 minutes or until it is 'al dente'.
In my country Venezuela, we usually accompany almost all our meals with fried plantain slices, so to complement this recipe and in case you have never tried this complement in your meals, you can put one on it, simply cut it into thin slices and fry it until it turns golden brown.
And that's it! Once our pasta is ready and we feel our bolognese sauce has thickened a bit, it's time to serve. I added some béchamel sauce to my meal that I had prepared for some pizzas the night before and the combination was majestic, a blast for the palate. I promise you won't know the difference between a traditional bolognese and this one with lentils.
I hope you will dare to experiment with this recipe and like it as much as I do, remember that you can add other vegetables to it, I in particular am a big fan of the capsicum hahaha. Enjoy this meal for this weekend. BON APPETIT.