A vegan twist on a classic that is just a rich and just as delicious. Also 3 of your 5 a day as a bonus! Serves 4 lucky people.
- Onion – 1, peeled and chopped
- Garlic – 2 cloves, peeled and chopped/minced
- Chestnut Mushrooms – 5/6 large mushrooms (approx 250g), chopped
- Red pepper – 1, seeded and chopped
- Chopped tomatoes – 1 tin
- Spaghetti -between 75 and 100g per person depending on how hungry you are!
- Green lentils -2 tins, drained (can also used dried but they will need to be cooked in advance; approx 500g)
- Vegetable stock cube
- Balsamic vinegar – 2 tablespoons
- Mixed herbs – 1 table spoon
- Oregano – 1 table spoon
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh Basil – 4/5 large leaves
Heat some oil in a large pan (that has a lid) and add the onions. Cover the pan and cook on a low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring every few minutes. You want the onions to sweat out all the tasty juices rather than go brown so make sure the heat isn’t too high.
Once the onions are soft; they should break apart if squashed with a wooden spoon, add in the garlic, pepper and mushrooms. Turn the heat up a little here and cover, cooking for another 10 minutes or until mushrooms are cooked through. Stir ever few minutes during this time.
Bring a pan of water to boil and then cook your spaghetti according to the instructions on the packet. As a general rule, this should take somewhere between 8 and 12 minutes. Once cooked, drain in a colander and set aside.
Once the mushrooms are cooked, add in the chopped tomatoes, the herbs and vegetable stock cube – you can just crumble this straight in and then stir it up. This time leave the lid off so the sauce can start to thicken up.
After about 5 minutes, have a taste of the sauce and season with salt and pepper. You could also add more mixed herbs or oregano here to your taste. Cook for another 5 minutes and then add the lentils and the drained spaghetti. Stir until the pasta is fully coated and the lentils are spread throughout the sauce.
Add the balsamic vinegar and keep stirring to mix it through but also to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan. The vinegar and tomato combo is where the richness comes from.
Once it is all thoroughly mixed, its time to serve it up. I always find tongs easiest but a spaghetti server will work to. Serve up generous portions and then roughly tear up the basil leaves to go on top.
Well done you! Now sit down and enjoy 🙂