Since Wednesday I have not been eating meat because I’ve given it up for lent. Tonight I tried out a recipe from a vegetarian recipe book because it sounded delicious and easy to make. I made lentil bolognese, and the recipe is very similar to how I make a traditional beef bolognese.
The thing is, I’ve never cooked lentils before so I had no idea what to expect. The recipe states to use green lentils, cover them with water, bring to the boil and simmer for 20-30 mins. I had red lentils instead and just put enough water in to cover them, as the recipe to me suggested to do that. However, the lentils started sticking to the pan when they were simmering, so I added more water and by the time it had been 2o minutes, I had what looked like green gloop! I persevered and attempted to drain them in a sieve with cold water, and alas I had a thick greenish mixture, which I found strange because they were red to begin with.
While the lentils were ‘gloopifying’, I got on fine with the bolognese mixture. I’ve made bolognese endless times so it was easy. I fried chopped white onions, garlic, carrots and celery until soft, then added a chopped red pepper, 2 cans of chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, 150ml of vegetable stock and oregano.
Once the bolognese mixture had thickened, I added the lentils and kept on a medium heat while I cooked the pasta to go with it.
Once the pasta was cooked I drained it and then placed it in a pasta bowl with some of the lentil bolognese on top. I also added some grated parmesan cheese.
The lentil bolognese tasted like vegetable stew to me. It was nice but I wouldn’t serve it with pasta again. Maybe I was missing some herbs that I normally use in a meat bolognese, such as bay leaves and basil. Or maybe I’m used to the taste of red wine in my cooking! Or it could even be because I didn’t cook the lentils correctly. The lentils didn’t have much taste on their own when I tried a bit of the gloop, since they are mostly used as a thickening agent in dishes. I will have to try cooking with lentils again, but consult some reliable sources first on how to cook them!
Happy reading and blogging!