Lentil and Vegetable Sauce


This is the perfect recipe to batch cook, as it freezes really well. I am using it as a sauce for spaghetti here; but you could also layer it in a lasagne, or thin it with a little stock into a soup, or serve it with rice, cous cous or quinoa. I increasingly try to cook with less meat in the week (we do eat meat at home) and lentils are a filling alternative. 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 onions, peeled and finely chopped

  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped

  • 2 celery sticks, peeled finely chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

  • 500g red lentils, rinsed thoroughly in running water

  • 1 (680g bottle) tomato passata

  • 1 tablespoon tomato purée

  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

  • 1.5L vegetable stock (no salt added), or water


Take a big cooking pot and heat the olive oil gently. Add the vegetables (onions, carrots and celery) cook until soft and translucent (15-20mins). Add the garlic, and cook for a further 1-2 mins stirring so the garlic doesn’t catch. Then add the lentils, passata, tomato purée, thyme leaves and stock (or water). Bring to a simmer and cook for 45 mins to 1 hour, or until everything has reduced. The red lentils and vegetables should be completely soft and cooked through. You might need more liquid too, add a little more if needed. Finish with a grind of black pepper and you are ready to serve. 

N.B. You can also blend until smooth, for 1 year + or smaller children

pasta, lentilsMiriam Cooper