Who doesn’t have a soft spot in their heart for spaghetti? Or pasghetti, as many of us used to call it.
For me, memories of spaghetti include dousing big bowls of the stuff with parmesan cheese at Sunday night dinners, and singing, “On top of spagheeeetti!” at the top of my lungs on car rides to grandma’s house. I loved it then, and even now, there is something undeniably comforting about a warm bowl of spaghetti after a long day.
Outside of my own nostalgic attachments to the pasta, people have been enjoying spaghetti for centuries. The gluttonous dish was first referenced in 1154 in Sicily, but wasn’t seriously popularized until the 19th century, when spaghetti factories were able to mass produce pasta to a much larger market. Traditionally, spaghetti is made from ground grain flour and water that is worked into very long noodle strands, which are then boiled when ready to be cooked.
In lieu of spaghetti day we wanted to share a recipe with you to inspire spaghetti celebration. However, because many of us are already familiar with our own particular recipes for preparing spaghetti, we thought we’d share something you may not have tried before–like a vegan lentil bolognese. Bolognese sauce, known in Italian as ragù alla bolognese, is a meat-based sauce originating from Bologna, Italy. The sauce typically contains onions, celery, finely chopped beef, tomato sauce, and a dash of red wine. In the spirit of our obsession with pulses, we thought we’d give this dish a healthy makeover and sub the meat for lentils. The result is delicious, plant-based goodness that will both comfort and nourish. This dish is completely vegan unless the pasta you use contains egg, or if you opt for real parmesan on top.
Happy pasghetti everyone!
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 20 mins
- 400g spaghetti or other long dried pasta
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 420g jar cherry tomato pasta sauce (see note)
- 250g punnet cherry tomatoes
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup red wine
- 400g can lentils, rinsed, drained
- 1/2 cup (40g) grated vegetarian hard cheese (or parmesan)
- Basil leaves, to serve
- In a medium sized pot, cook the pasta noodles in boiling salted water according to packet instructions.
- While pasta cooks, heat oil in a medium sized pan over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and garlic, and cook for two minutes, or until onions have softened. Add pasta sauce, ¼ cup of water, and ¼ cup red wine to the pan then bring to a simmer. Add tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes. Add lentil, season with salt and pepper, and cook for another minute, or until the sauce has reached your desired consistency.
- Drain pasta and toss with sauce. Divide among four bowls with vegan hard cheese or Parmesan, with basil leaves for garnish.