Theme: Kid’s Delight — Nuts & Legumes for Kid’s Lunchbox
Dish: Lentil Bolognese
My kids love Pasta and I feel they would rather prefer me packing pasta in their lunchbox than rice. So I’m always in the look out for new pasta dishes that they would like. My son likes tomato based sauces and I usually keep good quality store bought tomato sauce in hand for quick meals.
As I was looking for recipes with legumes I found this lentil bolognese recipe and I was surprised that I never thought of making this vegetarian bolognese before.
Bolognese sauce is a meat based sauce originating from Bologna in Italy. It is a slow cooked sauce and is used to dress flat pasta shapes like pappardelle or fettuccine or with short tube shapes like penne or rigatoni.
I used brown lentils or whole masoor dal to make this lentil bolognese. But French puy lentils or small green lentils can also be used. This is a very hearty and filling sauce that my kids really loved.
My 2 year old threw her fork to a side and ate the pasta with her fingers thoroughly relishing it. And my 7 year old loved it so much that he didn’t even realize that he ate carrots along with the pasta 🙂 I’m sure I’ll making this dish very often now.
1cupLentils/ Green LentilsBrown (Whole Masoor Lentils)
8ozPasta- . (any small cut pasta or even spaghetti will work great here)
1Onion- small, finely chopped
1Carrot- small, peeled and diced
- 3clovesGarlic, minced
3tbspsBasilFresh leaves - chopped
to tasteSalt Pepper&
Soak the lentils for at least 30 minutes.
Heat 1tbsp olive oil in a pan, add onions, carrots and minced garlic. Cook on medium flame till the veggies are tender, about 8~10 minutes.
Add tomato paste and tomato puree, cook for 8~10 minutes.
Add oregano and season with salt and pepper.
Next add the drained lentils along with 3 cups of water, bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat, cover and simmer till the lentils are tender. Add more water if the mixture starts to dry out.
Lentils can be precooked and then added to the tomato mixture -- this will make the dish get done faster.
While the lentils are simmering, cook the pasta according to package instructions.
Once the lentils are tender and the sauce thickened, it is ready to serve.
Drain the cooked pasta and add to the lentil mixture. Serve as is or with a sprinkle of cheese on top.