Whenever I ask my son (11) what he would like to put on the menu for next week he ALWAYS says Spag Bol. It really is rather good. This is an easy midweek meal as once it’s all in the pot you can just leave it pretty much unattended for ages and then just pop on your spaghetti once you’re ready. It only improves the longer you cook it, just watch it doesn’t catch and burn on the bottom (one of those heat diffusing pads is useful here) and that it doesn’t become too reduced. It also “cheats” a little by using a small jar of ready made pasta sauce as one of the ingredients. If you don’t have one to hand you could sub with another can of tomatoes, or equivalent of sieved tomatoes / passata type of thing.
It’s called “2 Lentil Bolognese” as it uses both the wonderful Split Red Lentils which break down so beautifully to that dhal-like creamy mush and the slower-cooking Puy Lentils which are those beautiful little round green/blue ones which keep their shape and add great texture to the dish.
I like to blend the sauce just a little using the immersion blender to break up some of the lentils and make a thicker sauce, but that’s completely up to you. Smaller children may well like it much smoother as they often object to the presence of lentils. 🙂
This usually makes enough for 2 dinners for 4 so the rest goes in the freezer for next time!
- 1 medium onion
- 1 large garlic clove
- 2 small sticks celery
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 field mushroom/ 6-8 button mushrooms
- :- all diced small
- ½ cup red lentils
- ½ cup Puy (French) lentils
- 1 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 2 (use empty tomato) cans water
- 2 heaped Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 heaped tsp "chicken" or vegetable stock / bouillon powder
- 1 rounded tsp dried mixed Italian herbs
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 small (375g) jar tomato and basil pasta sauce / your favourite
- Fry or dry fry / water sauté the onions and garlic for a few minutes whilst you chop the other veggies.
- Add the celery, carrot and mushrooms and sauté for another 10 minutes over a gentle heat.
- Add all the other ingredients, bring to the boil, then turn down and simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Cover if required to cook longer without reducing volume.
- Test for seasoning, add more water if too thick.
- Use immersion blender if required to thicken / smooth the sauce as required.