Winter tends to revolve around comforting and sometimes heavy meals, snacks and desserts. Why not keep all the comfort and deliciousness but add a big serving of healthy vegetable goodness to your holiday menu? Believe me, Jaime's Vegetable Bolognese pasta will do just that and it will definitely be a crowd pleaser. I made my version vegan (leaving out the cheese) and used gluten free pasta. You can also enjoy this over a bed of arugula or spinach for a light and fresh lunch option!
1/3 cup dried green lentils
1/3 oz dried porcini
1 red onion
1 clove garlic
1 stick celery
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons red wine , (optional)
14 oz can peeled plum tomatoes
6 oz wholewheat spaghetti
a few sprigs fresh thyme
extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
1. Put the lentils into a small saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to medium and cook for 12 minutes, or until tender. Drain, return to the pan and season lightly with sea salt, black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
2. Place the porcini into a small bowl, just cover with boiling water and leave to rehydrate.
3. Finely chop onion, garlic and celery and rosemary leaves. Cooked in medium pan with bay leaf for 10 minutes.
4. Turn the heat up to medium-high, pour in the red wine (if using), then leave to bubble and cook away.
5. Finely chop the porcini and add to the pan, along with 3 tablespoons of soaking water.
6. Add tomatoes and bring to the boil, then reduce to a medium-low heat and cook for 10 minutes, adding the lentils as soon as they’re drained and ready.
7. Cook the spaghetti for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente, which means that it should be soft enough to eat, but still have a bit of bite and firmness to it.
8. Pick the thyme leaves into a bowl, add the breadcrumbs and ½ a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, then toss to coat. Toast in a dry frying pan over a medium heat until lightly golden, stirring regularly.
9. Remove the bay leaf from pan and mash the sauce gently with a potato masher and season to taste with salt and pepper.
10. Add pasta to bowl, add sauce on top and sprinkle with bread crumbs.