One of my housemates has started making homemade pasta sauce every Sunday for dinner. It's a recipe of few ingredients and simple instructions, but it is so yummy. Then it got me wanting to make pasta sauce. I've made Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce, which is amazing, but not yet a tomato-based sauce. I still wanted protein, but not meat as ground beef can get expensive, so I chose to use lentils. I've seen recipes using lentils instead of meat for Sloppy Joe's, which I am dying to make soon.
For a pasta sauce, it was a little disappointing. It didn't come out as thick as a sauce should be. I probably could have simmered it a bit more, but it was one of those late-lunch days and my stomach just didn't have the patience. Next time I make this, I would go for all tomato paste instead of tomato sauce. If you do use tomato sauce, leave out the 1/2 cup water. I might follow my housemate's recipe and just prepare for an hour of simmering next time. As a soup, however, it's decent. I prefer to eat it without the pasta and with a sprinkle of cheese on top. I should just rename this recipe as Tomato Lentil Soup.
Sicilian Lentil Pasta Sauce
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 cups fresh sliced mushrooms
- 1 small zucchini, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup dry lentils
- 3 cups water
- 2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
- 1/2 cup water
1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, mushrooms, zucchini, and garlic. Cook and stir until tender, about 5 minutes.
2. Add lentils and 3 cups water to vegetables. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 45 to 60 minutes.
3. Stir in tomato sauce, tomato paste, sugar, and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. If necessary, add more water to keep the sauce from sticking. Be careful not to dilute; the sauce should be quite thick.