Gorgeous gorgeous red lentil sauce

The ickle red lentil. So cute, so quick to cook, so affordable, so nutritious. Once we were at my friends for lunch and she served wholewheat pasta topped with a red lentil/onion/pepper combination mixed with some tomato sauce. I think Amelia was close to tears looking at it. She doesn’t realise she eats red lentils plenty, but I always blend them in root vegetable soups. She knew the score though, and I was watching her face which went from “HOW am I going to get this down my throat, I know I won’t like it” to “mmmmmm….quite nice actually!” She afterwards confided “I was really upset when I saw what was on my pasta but I really liked it after all!”

I had forgotten about this incident, until last night my friend recommended doing a “chilli con carne” sauce with red lentils. I knew the girls wouldn’t eat spicey but I thought I would try it out with tomatoes as a pasta sauce. It was so delicious. I love that something so simple tasted so good.

(By the way I can testify to how much liquid red lentils need, they are notorious for sticking. I have burnt them more times than I can count. Be warned)

A very rough idea of what you can do. (For more precise quantities look up a recipe online)

  • Gently saute a large white onion in extra virgin olive oil, finely chopped.Garlic optional-( I didn’t this time)
  • Add a large punnet of fresh cherry tomatoes or one tin of tomatoes (nothing added)
  • Add a pinch or two of sea salt, and a tiny bit of sugar or honey if you want.
  • When the onion is soft, add a few handfuls of red lentils and some water or vegetable stock (Of course I used my home-made stock  🙂 )
  • Stir very frequently, keep heat on low to medium and do not leave it to it’s own naughty devices.
  • When the lentils are nice and soft, taste and re-season as you like it.
  • I gave it a quick whizz in the mini chopper, keeping some texture. Ellie is not yet ready to know she is eating onion 🙂
  • We had some red roasted peppers which I also blended in, which is generally never a mistake in my opinion.
  • Serve over wholewheat/alternative pasta

God bless the humble red lentil. I was all enthused and have stocked up on plenty more.

Happy weekend!

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