Vegan Lentil Bolognese Pasta Sauce

This recipe was one of those ‘make it up as I go along’ dinners 🙂

I originally was planning to have some zucchini and lentils, and it turned into the great creation below.  I chose the name ‘bolognese’ because the lentils make this super filling and the texture is almost ‘meaty’ as the lentils break down in the sauce when its stirred.  And adding the soup makes the sauce super creamy, a little sweet, and everything works so perfectly together!

I usually like to limit my cooking to 1 or 2 burners/pots for easy clean up, but I did have 3 burners going to simultaneously cook everything below.  All in all, it didn’t take too long (by the time the lentils are done cooking, the recipe is almost over) and I could each pot as I was done using it.

Ingredients:

1 cup green lentils

1 14oz can of petite diced tomatoes

1 zucchini

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup kale

1 cup tomato/roasted red pepper soup

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp basil

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Fresh parsley to garnish

8 oz whole wheat pasta (about 1/2 box) Sub gluten free and you won’t miss a thing!

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Cooking Directions:

Start with the thing that takes the longest: Lentils!  Measure out 1 cup of green lentils into a medium sized pot, and wash/sort the lentils into the sink.  Drain the liquid, and add 2 cups of water (2:1) water to lentil ratio.  Bring the lentils to a boil over high heat, then cover and simmer on low for about 20 minutes until the lentils are soft and have absorbed all the water.

Meanwhile…

Start by heating the extra virgin olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat.  Chop the zucchini into small bite-sized pieces, and add to a sauté pan with the garlic, and cook on low for 5 minutes.  Once the zucchini gets soft, add the can of diced tomatoes with the juice.  Add the kale, oregano, and basil, and simmer the sauce on low.

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Meanwhile…

In a medium pot, boil some salted water and cook the pasta until it is al dente (depends on what shape you’re using, I did a whole wheat rotini and it was about 8-10 minutes).

Once the lentils are finished cooking, add them to the saucepan with the zucchini and tomatoes.  Add in 1 cup of tomato or roasted red pepper soup, and continue to simmer on low for 5 minutes.  The soup will make the veggies extra creamy and turn it into more of a ‘sauce’ which is amazing.  Add in the cooked pasta to the pan, and combine all ingredients together, until the pasta is covered in the sauce.

This made about 4 servings of sauce, and 2 servings of pasta… but I am trying this again tonight!  Would also be great with spinach instead of kale 🙂  Also mushrooms would be yummy sauteed in with the zucchini, might try that tonight.

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