Yeah I know. It doesn’t look like much in the picture. A soggy jumble of bits in a wet sauce. If you could smell it though, it would smell GOOD! This sauce can form the basis of so many different things: bolognaise, lasagne, moussaka, savoury lentil bake, shepherd’s pie… I always make in a big batch as it freezes well and it’s a great work day staple to have stashed away for days when you have zero time or energy to cook from scratch.
Last time I made this, I made this quantity as I have a massive Le Creuset pan and it saves time in the long run. Obviously if you have smaller pans or no space in the freezer reduce quantities accordingly…
For 3 batches of sauce, each enough to feed 4-6 people you need:
- 3 cups brown lentils (green also work, as do puy. Don’t use split red lentils!)
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 2 leeks, trimmed, washed and sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 4 sticks celery, washed and diced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cans chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsp of marigold stock powder
- 1 tbsp dried mixed herbs
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- salt and pepper
- Begin by cooking the lentils in plenty of water. How long will depend on the age and variety of lentils. My brown ones took 15 mins. Drain.
- Meanwhile saute the onion, leek, celery and garlic in the oil until softened.
- Add the tomatoes and seasonings to the sauce along with the lentils.
- Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer for 5-10 mins.
- Taste and adjust seasoning. Tis done. Serve like this over pasta for bolognaise or use as a base in numerous other recipes.