Lentils and spiralized zucchini are a pretty powerful combination. You have lentils packed with fiber and protein, and a vegetable instead of a starch as a base. The lentils have enough texture to successfully take the place of meat in the sauce.
I’ve been reading a lot about lentils lately. I know that might sound strange. What can I say? I read about food. One thing that caught my eye is that fact that the soluble fiber in lentils helps to stabilize blood sugar levels.
We are not new to lentils. I make lentil soup quite a bit. We also have a combination of lentils and vegetables as a side dish for fish. But when I came across a recipe for lentils in a sauce over pasta, it occurred to me that putting lentils over spiralized zucchini noodles would be a win-win. I wasn’t excited about the new recipe that I read, but I had a tried and true recipe in my arsenal that I felt would work, and it did!
I’ve been making adapted versions of Ina Garten’s Lentil Soup and Salmon with Lentils for years. The fact that her recipe contains classic “Bolognese” ingredients like celery, carrots, onions, garlic, and tomato paste, in addition to the lentils, made it seem like a perfect sauce.
1 cup dried lentils
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cups diced onions
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups diced celery
1 1/2 cups diced carrots
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
2-3 TBS tomato paste
2 TBS red wine vinegar
1. Pour the lentils into a bowl. Cover with boiling water for at least 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. Saute the onions, thyme, salt and pepper over medium heat until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic for the last couple of minutes.
3. Add the drained lentils, carrots, celery, stock, and tomato paste. Stir well.
4. Cover the sauté pan and simmer for about 20 minutes until the lentils and vegetables are tender.
5. Add the red wine vinegar. Check for seasoning.
6. Serve over spiralized zucchini. Top with shaved or grated Parmesan cheese.
- Use the “spaghetti” blade to make strands, or the slicer blade to make ribbons.
- Sprinkle with salt and let drain in a colander for a half hour.
- Retain the most crunch by just pouring boiling water over the salted zucchini in the colander and letting it drain.
- Or toss the strands in a little olive oil in a pan.