This all started with me buying lentils for a curry about three months ago and having half a bag leftover sitting in the cupboard. I’ve not cooked with lentils much so I didn’t really know how to use them up, but I don’t like to waste food so I began searching online for inspiration…
There are loads of lentil curries out there, even some lentil chillies, but lentil pastas are few and far between. However, during my research I discovered lentils are often used to bulk out vegetarian meals because they’re a great source of protein, have tonnes of texture and are super filling. So, with this in mind, I made a swap, taking the mince meat out of traditional bolognese and sneaking lentils in its’ place for a hearty, healthy pasta – and red lentil spag bol was born! And it only weighed in at around 375 calories per person 😉
So, this is how I did it…
1. Spray a large, deep pan or dish with cooking spray, or splash in a small drop of oil. Cook the chopped onions and dried garlic flakes on a medium heat for a few minutes, until soft.
2. Add the lentils, mushrooms, chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, a crumbled stock cube, one litre of boiling water and seasoning. Stir and simmer for 30 – 40 minutes.
3. If you’re adding sweetcorn, throw it in for the last 10 minutes of cooking.
4. Cook the spaghetti in salted water according to packet instructions – usually 10 – 15 minutes.
5. Serve (with grated cheese and garlic bread, if you want to make it even more awesome! 🧀)
1 Mug of Red Lentils – Alesto Red Split Lentils – 69p – Lidl
2 Medium Onions, Chopped – Grower’s Selection Onions by Weight – 15p – ASDA
2 Large Mushrooms, Chopped – Mushrooms Greengrocer – 65p – Sainsbury’s
Handful of Sweetcorn, Fresh or Frozen (if using) – Green Grocer’s Supersweet Corn – 79p – Lidl
1 Tin of Chopped Tomatoes – Smartprice Chopped Tomatoes in Tomato Juice – 29p – ASDA
1 Tbsp of Tomato Puree – Tomato Puree Double Concentrated – 35p – Tesco
1 Stock Cube, Crumbled (vegetable or beef) – Beef Stock Cubes – 43p – ASDA / Vegetable Stock Cubes – 39p – ASDA
1 Litre of Boiling Water
280g Wholewheat Spaghetti – Wholewheat Spaghetti 500g – 45p – ASDA
First thing to add is the dried garlic flakes, which go in with the onion. After that, sprinkle a few chilli flakes, a hefty dose of dried oregano and dried basil, salt and pepper when it all starts to simmer. A couple of minutes before serving the bolognese, throw in some mixed herbs too.