Prep 10 mins
Cook 25 mins
A vegetarian pasta sauce which I hope will appeal to vegetarians, and to those committed to having at least some meat-free meals. It can, of course, be made using any pasta - either regular or wholemeal. Adapted from a recipe in Karen Meyer's 'The Artful Vegetarian' and posted for the Healthy for the Holidays Challenge. One of my adaptations was to add the carrot, on the recommendation of an old Italian lady who (with reference to pasta dishes made with meat) told me that in her village carrot was the secret ingredient to a successful pasta sauce. Certainly baby carrots add sweetness. If you are not using baby carrots, and if you don't usually add some sweetness, give it a try. You could add a teaspoon of sugar or honey, to taste. Whatever its source, the sweetness blends beautifully with the other flavours, particularly with the tomatoes.
- 16 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3 onions, diced
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 4 baby carrots, grated
- 3 cups mushrooms, chopped
- 8 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 2 cups cooked brown lentils
- 1 teaspoon tamari (see Notes)
- 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano or 2 teaspoons fresh oregano
- 1⁄4 teaspoon dried basil or 2 teaspoons fresh basil
- 1 cup tofu, cubed
- 1 teaspoon extra tamari (see Notes) or 1⁄2 teaspoon vegetable salt
- 2 teaspoons oil
- 3⁄4 cup almonds, chopped
- Cook the spaghetti in plenty of boiling water until tender, 10-15 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan and add the garlic and onions and saute, stirring, for 3-4 minutes; add the red and green pepper, mushrooms and carrot and saute for a further 3-4 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, brown lentils, tamari, parsley and herbs and cook for 5 minutes until well heated.
- Sprinkle a little tamari on the tofu squares and heat the extra 2 teaspoons of oil in a separate (preferably non-stick) pan and lightly saute the tofu squares until they are lightly coloured on each side.
- Drain the spaghetti and distribute it between 6 serving plates.
- Pour the lentil sauce over the spaghetti, scatter the tofu on top and sprinkle with the chopped almonds.
- Serve with a salad or steamed vegetables.
- NOTES: Tamari is pure, top quality soy sauce, and is free from chemicals and preservatives. It can be used for flavouring in place of added salt or stock cubes in soups, vegetable dishes, pies, casseroles and dressings. It is available at health food stores and large supermarkets.
Very bland! I'm a vegetarian since birth, but I couldn't have eaten this as-is. Add more garlic, add more herbs, ground pepper, chilli/chilli sauce - then we're talking. But as is, it doesn't have a lot to offer and if I didn't cook to taste I'd be disappointed. I used dried herbs - if I'd used fresh I'd only be adding at the very end. Texturally, though, it seems like a great alternative to meat and will keep the meat loving husband happy - so a great starting point to more exciting things. Definitely still room to adapt.
Very good for a change-of-pace spaghetti--this is also great for cleaning out the veggie drawer night spaghetti, as I changed some of the veggies by what was in the vegetable drawer. As I like having lentiles during cold/flu season this was a great way to have them other than our usual soup and also a great way to sneak in some tofu. Thanks for sharing this keeper--I am sure we will be having this again before flu season is over!