Thursday, August 8, 2013

Spag bol

What is more delicious than a big bowl of spaghetti with a simple meat sauce and sprinkling of Parmesan?

Maybe the vegetarian version, with lentils substituted for the meat! It uses canned tomato. Yes, yes, I know it's summer, but fresh tomatoes are expensive, and I'd rather eat them raw when they're at their best.

More importantly, I also made this ridiculously delicious blueberry pie, for no reason other than the fact that blueberries were a dollar a pint. Go, do it. Now. Of note, I also added a pinch of cinnamon to the filling and reduced the sugar a little bit, added my usual teaspoon of vinegar to the pie crust for increased flakiness, and used all butter instead of shortening.

Spaghetti bolognes-ish (word to the wise: this makes LOTS of sauce)
1 28- to 30-oz can of tomato puree, good-quality
1 cup vegetable broth (or water, I suppose), plus more prn
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup red wine
4 cloves garlic
1 small onion, chopped
1 large bell pepper
1/2 lb crimini mushrooms
1/2 cup olives, chopped, or capers, not chopped
juice of 1 lemon
marjoram, oregano, sage, rosemary, coriander, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, all to taste
fresh basil, fresh parsley
freshly grated Parmesan
1 to 1 1/2 cups green lentils
1 lb spaghetti or linguini

Mince the garlic and saute with the chopped onion in about 2 tbsp olive oil at the bottom of a large pot. When the onion is transluscent and garlic toasty, add the tomato puree, soy sauce, wine, broth, lemon juice, and dried herbs & spices, keeping in mind that the sauce will concentrate (so don't overspice!). Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for about 30-45 minutes or until the alcohol is burned off and the "canned" tomato taste has faded. At this point, add the lentils, cover, and continue to simmer, adding more water or broth as the lentils cook.

Meanwhile, slice the mushrooms and chop the bell pepper. Add along with the olives when the lentils have 15 to 20 minutes to go. Simmer until the mushrooms are fully cooked. Stir in fresh basil and parsley, adjust the seasoning, and serve over spaghetti.

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