Lentil Quinoa Bolognese Sauce 8.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; tableware from Crate and Barrel

Weeknight Vegetarian Jan 8, 2014

Use this the way you would a meaty Bolognese: over tagliatelle or the pasta of your choice, or in lasagna.

This recipe feeds a crowd, or you can freeze part of it to have on hand anytime you want something that tastes decadent.

You can use a blender instead of a food processor, but that might create more of a homogenous, greenish sauce rather than one with dark-green flecks.

Make Ahead: The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 6 months.


Servings:
8

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8 servings; makes about 7 cups

Ingredients
  • 1 cup dried lentils (preferably brown or green), rinsed
  • 3 medium carrots, well scrubbed then cut into large chunks
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cored and seeded then chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 28 ounces no-salt-added crushed tomatoes or 3 cups homemade tomato puree
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 small bunch kale, stems removed and discarded, leaves torn into small pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 1/2 cup dried quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Combine the lentils, carrots and water in a large pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low; cover and cook until the lentils are tender, 20 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour the oil into a medium saute pan over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and stir to coat; cook until translucent, 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the bell pepper and garlic, stirring to coat; cook until tender, 4 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a food processor.

Once the carrots and lentils are cooked, transfer the carrots from the pot to the food processor, along with the tomatoes or tomato puree, oregano, basil, crushed red pepper flakes and kale. Pulse until mostly smooth.

Add the quinoa and red wine to the pot of lentils, stirring to incorporate; cover and cook until the quinoa grains start to show their white tails, 6 or 7 minutes.

Stir the carrot-kale puree into the lentil-quinoa mixture; cook, covered, over low heat until the sauce melds and heats thoroughly, about 20 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper.

Serve hot, or cool completely before storing.

Rate it

Recipe Source

Adapted from "The Great Vegan Bean Book," by Kathy Hester (Fair Winds Press, 2013).

Tested by Nicole Schofer.

E-mail questions to the Food Section.

E-mail questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.