Hannah Eats Huddersfield @ HT – Red Lentil and Tomato Pasta Recipe

It’s 2022! This year I’ve tried to be a bit easier on myself when it comes to resolutions. One of my biggest concerns is the amount of plastic we use as a household, so I’m trying to use refill shops as much as possible. My personal go-to store is Grow in Skelmanthorpe. These guys have everything you could ever need to create tasty vegan meals that are cost-effective and kind to the environment. My second goal is to try and reduce the amount of ‘meat alternatives’ I’m eating by opting for purer proteins such as pulses and beans instead. With all of this in mind – I’ve got the perfect recipe to kick start the year. A gorgeous red lentil and tomato pasta. Pack it full of your favourite vegetables and you’ve got a healthy, nutritious meal that will make everyone’s day! Let’s get to it:

What you will need:

  • Vegan pasta (I used fusilli, but use whichever one you’d prefer)
  • A tin of chopped tomatoes
  • Tomato puree (2 tbsp)
  • Olive oil (2 tbsp)
  • An onion
  • 2/3 cloves of garlic 
  • Dried red lentils (about a handful per person)
  • Mixed herbs (1 tbsp)
  • Salt (1 tsp)
  • Pepper (1 tsp)
  • Vegetables of your choosing! (I went for red pepper, courgette and spinach)

Optional extras:

  • Nutritional yeast (2 tbsp)
  • A glug of vegan red wine 
  • Balsamic vinegar (1 tbsp)
  • Chilli flakes (If you want to add a bit of a kick!)
  • Vegan cheese (I used grated Violife)
Filled with chunky veg and protein-packed pulses, this pasta is a great dish to hit all those key food groups!

Method:

1: Pop your pasta on to boil until it’s just tender. This usually takes about 12-15 minutes depending on the pasta shape. You want it to still have a slight ‘bite’ to it, as it will soften further once left to simmer in the sauce. 

2: As your pasta boils, heat up the olive oil in a pan and fry the sliced onion and crushed garlic cloves until softened. If you’re wanting a slight kick, add about ½ a teaspoon of crushed chilli flakes at this point too.

3: Now add your vegetables of choice. As mentioned, I used some thinly sliced red pepper and courgette in mine with a couple of handfuls of spinach. Let this cook for a moment, but when you see the vegetables starting to ‘sweat’, add your red lentils so that they can absorb some of that moisture.

4: Once everything has softened, it’s time to start adding some flavour. At this point, add the tomato puree, salt, pepper and mixed herbs, alongside a dash of the pasta water and mix everything together so that it’s all incorporated in the pan. 

(Extra optional step: You can also add a glug or two of red wine, some balsamic vinegar and the nutritional yeast at this stage. This will help to counteract the sweetness of the tomatoes)

5: Add the chopped tomatoes to the mix and cover, allowing the red lentils to simmer on low-medium heat for about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. If you find the sauce is getting too thick and the lentils are not soft enough, add more pasta water. 

6: The pasta should now be fully cooked and ready to add to the pan. Drain most of the water and transfer over to the lentil mix. Give everything a good stir and leave it to simmer for about 5 minutes so the starch from the pasta can thicken up the sauce. Just before serving, I like to add a handful of Violife cheese as it melts into the dish and adds a bit of creaminess. Again, this is optional. I understand that vegan cheese isn’t for everyone!

And there we have it. A vegan dish that can be made in bulk and dished out on any occasion. Why not pair it with some garlic bread or a mixed leaf salad to up your pasta game? 

Next time I’ll be sharing some of my favourite recipes that can be made using a food processor such as burgers, sausages and meatballs. See you then!

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