PASTA DISHES

Lentil and tuna Bolognese

Lentil and tuna Bolognese

Instead of a traditional meat-based sauce, the Bolognese sauce in this recipe is made with canned brown lentils and tuna, which makes a healthier, high fiber alternative to minced meat while still tasting 'meaty' and delicious. And rather than cooking the sauce slowly for hours until it’s rich and thick, we achieve the same velvety texture by thickening it slightly with a flour and oil roux so that it coats the pasta perfectly.

This sauce freezes well, so make it in big batches and freeze it in portions, then you’ve always got some ready to toss with pasta, layer in lasagna, stuff into cannelloni, pour over polenta, or serve on a baked potato.

Lentil and tuna Bolognese
serves 2
A deliciously different fiber-rich version of spaghetti Bolognese using brown lentils and canned tuna instead of ground beef.
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion — finely chopped
1 carrot — finely diced
1 stalk celery — finely chopped
3 cloves garlic — finely chopped
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ cup white wine
3 tablespoons tomato paste
14 oz (400g) canned tomatoes — chopped
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
7 oz (200g) spaghetti
14 oz (400g) canned brown lentils — rinsed and drained
6 oz (170g) canned tuna in olive oil — drained and flaked
Finely grated Parmesan cheese, to serve
HEAT 2 tablespoons of the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and cook the onion, carrot and celery, covered, for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. ADD the garlic and oregano and cook for 2 minutes. ADD the wine, tomato paste, tomatoes, salt and pepper, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium and cook, covered, for 10 minutes. WHILE the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta. ADD the lentils, tuna and reserved tablespoon of olive oil to the sauce and cook, covered, for a further 5 minutes. DRAIN the cooked pasta into a colander and put the sauce in the bottom of the pot. TOP with the hot pasta and toss together gently to combine. SERVE topped with a little grated Parmesan cheese.