What a joyful experience — cooking meals for seniors in bulk in a commercial kitchen with experienced chefs. Arlene Lerner and Susan Schwartz, my chef buddies at Meals on Wheels, added to the joy. Arlene was in charge of the Bolognese sauce, fleshing out the modest meat supply with red lentils, eggplant and mushrooms. The small amount of cinnamon and the texture of the lentils give this Pasta Bolognese with Lentils a Middle Eastern flair. It’s a great way to enjoy a little meat while eating a mostly plant-based dish.
Pasta Bolognese with Lentils
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 sticks celery, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb minced meat, browned (beef or lamb)
- 1 eggplant, peeled, cubed, sautéed until softened
- 1 lb mushrooms, sliced, sautéed until softened
- 2 c red lentils, cooked
- 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1.1 L (4 1/2 c) tomato sauce
- 2 t Kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 t dried oregano, or 1 tablespoon fresh
- 2 t brown sugar
- 1/2 t each powdered garlic, cinnamon, red chili flakes
- 500 g, 1 package pasta, cooked al dente (Rotini or Capellini were perfect)
- chopped parsley
- grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- hot pepper flakes
In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery and cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add garlic, and cook 2 more minutes. Add all other ingredients, except for pasta and garnishes. Bring to a boil, lower heat to simmer and cook for an hour. Taste to adjust seasoning. Try not to eat a full portion while sampling, like I just did. Serve Bolognese over pasta and garnish with parsley, Parmigiano Reggiano and red pepper flakes. Serves 10-12. Sauce freezes well.
Note: This Bolognese with Lentils can be also be served over quinoa, roasted zoodles, spaghetti squash, cauliflower or broccoli. Or you can combine half-pasta, half one of these alternative bases for a lighter meal.
Pasta Bolognese with Lentils Print Ready Recipe
- JC just passed the 8 year anniversary mark. Next milestone will be getting to 500 posts. Pasta Bolognese with Lentils is #492.
- If you’re in NYC, and even if you’re not, check out Grifter Space, Adrianne’s new artist run gallery. The new show Heidi Jahnke will run from September 22 to November 10, 2019.
- Happy, healthy Jewish New Year to all who celebrate. Shana Tova!
Marcia Saipe says
Thanks, Holly! Looking forward to trying this. Always looking for ways to eat healthy, and reducing our red meat consumption. Shana Tova to you and yours!
Jittery Cook says
Welcome Marcia. I haven’t tried this recipe without meat. Was great with meat or lamb. I’m pretty sure it would be delicious without any meat for those so inclined. Shana Tova to you too!
Susan Schwartz says
Love this – and love being in the kitchen with you.
Looking forward to our next cooking gig together:)
Jittery Cook says
Can’t wait to see if we wind up with more inspired recipes for JC. I’m very grateful to you for bringing under the Meals on Wheels umbrella.
What a great recipe!
Congratulations for having done JC for over 8 years and being so close to your 500th recipe.
Great effort in sharing and in healthy eating.
Thank you, Carmela
Such joy to picture you in these kitchens, feeding so many, bringing fun to the team of chefs, learning from each other.
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