This is a really easy and quick vegetarian meal that I usually end up having a few times a week. The sauce can be used in almost anything else that needs a tomato base such as soups and sauces. You can replace the lentils with other legumes, or even add other vegetables such as mushrooms, capsicum or squash. This dish is easily made vegan by removing the butter.
1 Large Onion
3 Cloves of Garlic
2 Tins Crushed/Diced Tomatoes
1 Tin of lentils (or any other legume)
Dried Herbs such as Oregano and Basil
1 Tsp Stock Powder (or 1 Stock Cube)
2 Tsp Sugar (preferably brown or raw)
1/3 Cup Water
1 packet of Linguine (preferably wholemeal)
1 Tbs Salt
Put on a large pot of water to boil for pasta. Once boiled add salt, then add your pasta, stirring occasionally to avoid clumps.
Put on a medium pot with the olive oil and butter on medium heat, dice your onions and garlic and add them once the pot is hot so they sizzle. (I've added my herbs with the onions, it doesn't make much of a difference either way)
Once the onions are cooked down a little, they should be slightly translucent, add the tinned tomatoes, the water and the lentils and stir. You can turn the heat up a little now.
Once the tomatoes are at a slight boil, turn the heat on medium again and add your herbs, pepper, sugar and stock.
Wait about 5-10 minutes before tasting to see if you need to add anymore seasoning, otherwise let it simmer for another 10 minutes, then serve.
Quick trick: Once the pasta is cooked and drained, leave some of the cooked water in with it back in the pot, add a small nob of butter and a drizzle of olive oil and stir, then replace the lid. This usually stops it from clumping together or becoming dry.
A good vegetarian bolognese can be made with Quorn mince or TVP mince. These choices make it very palatable to non-vegetarians who usually don't like to knowingly eat a vegetarian meal. I made little "meat" pies for my dad when he was in hospital and he was convinced they were real meat and was astounded by the truth