Here comes a very simple but super yummy red lentil pasta recipe. I’ve cooked it already before my daughter started to live vegan and I’m still amazed how incredible tasty this plant based Bolognese sauce is.
Although I love to experiment and vary my clean eating meals regularly, this red lentil pasta is one of those recipes I cook again and again. Most of its ingredients are sitting in my pantry anyway.
3 reasons why I use red lentils
For a vegan Bolognese sauce you could probably use any lentil type, but I have good reasons to stick with my preferred red lentils:
- They do not need to be soaked, precooked, etc.
- They have a very short cooking time (depending on lentil type: 15-25 minutes)
- Red lentils have a very delicate and light, flavorful taste, which harmonizes perfectly with the fruity tomato sauce.
Furthermore, I find it a nice way to improve the quality of a rather simple tomato and vegetable sauce by increasing the protein and fiber value. All summed up, this is a fine, tasty and filling sauce, which is inexpensive and quite quick to prepare.
A very flexible red lentil pasta recipe
The veggies in the sauce can also be easily varied according to your own taste and pantry/fridge contents. Great additions are for example celery, zucchini or fennel.
I love to combine wholegrain spaghetti with this aromatic sauce, but you can use any noodles you want, although whole grain would be highly recommended to prevent blood sugar spikes.Print
Red lentil pasta recipe: a fiber rich, quick and easy clean eating meal (vegan)
a flavorful vegan Bolognese sauce
- Prep Time: 5
- Cook Time: 25
- Total Time: 30
- Yield: 3-4
- 3 tablespoon water or 1/2 tablespoon EVOO
- 3 onions, diced
- 2 medium carrots, finely grated
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 150 g red lentils
- 600 ml vegetable broth
- 400 grams/ 14 0z. tinned chopped tomatoes (BPA-free)
- 2 tablespoon oregano
- 2 tablespoon thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh basil
- 500 grams whole grain Spaghetti, cooked according package instructions
- Heat water or oil in a large pan (or Thermomix) and add the onions. Cook for 2-3 minutes and then add the carrots. Fry for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add the garlic, lentils, tomatoes, vegetable stock, herbs and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes until the lentils and vegetables are soft. (stir in between occasionally).
- Taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately with cooked whole grain spaghetti or other pasta and garnish with some fresh basil.
Tip: If you want to intensify the tomato taste you can add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste.
What is so special about lentils?
Lentils are high in protein and fiber and also contain many complex carbohydrates. Due to their high fiber content, these legumes have a low glycemic index (GLYX).
This means that they raise the blood sugar level only slowly (similar to whole grains) and thus trigger only a slight release of insulin. A brand new study confirms that lentils significantly reduce blood glucose levels.(1)
The dietary fibers also promote a long lasting satiation and a good digestion. It’s also great to know that lentils support the immune system by absorbing and removing toxins from the digestive tract.
Lose weight with pulses
With all this in mind it probably doesn’t surprise that lentils, peas, chickpeas and beans – in short pulses – can contribute to a moderate weight loss. This is also the result of a review by the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital in Ontario, Canada. The analysis of 21 clinical studies revealed a data pool of 940 men and women. (2)
They found out that a portion of about 130 grams of legumes per day led to an average weight loss of 0.34 kilograms – in a study period of six weeks. Although 0.34 kilograms doesn’t sound like a lot at first, it gets relevant when you know that the participants weren’t encouraged to reduce other foods.
If you calculate the annual weight loss with the consumption of legumes, you get a notable loss of about 2.5 kilos! What is even more important, a regular pulse consumption prevents you from gaining it back after you lose it.
So if weight loss is your goal, then I gave you another reason to include this simple red lentil pasta recipe more often into your nutrition.