I adapted this lentil marinara sauce recipe from Mrs. J. She had given me this recipe months ago and I finally got the chance to check it out! As I was cooking it though, I decided to turn it into something a little bit more than sauce! More like a stew, but it was a nice, thick sauce perfect over pasta, sauteed veggies (my preference for a healthier dish), or even rice! I love marinara sauces, and to me, the thicker, the better! Yum!
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1-1/2 cups lentils, uncooked
- 1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne
- 4 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 (6-oz) cans tomato paste
- 2 (14.5) oz cans diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1-2 cups broccoli florets
- 3/4 salt
- pepper, to taste
- 1/2 tsp basil
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp parsley
- 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 3 handfuls of baby spinach leaves
- In a large pot or dutch oven, saute the onion and garlic in oil on medium-high heat until tender.
- Add the broth, lentils, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 40-45 minutes covered.
- While the lentil mixture is cooking, steam the carrots for roughly 20 minutes, then puree or mash them. This helps to thicken the sauce. Set aside.
- Once the lentils are done cooking, to the lentil mixture, add the pureed/mashed carrots, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, broccoli florets, and spices. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 20-30 minutes.
- Add the spinach leaves, cover the pot and simmer for 5 minutes more, until the spinach is wilted.
- Serve over sauteed, julienned vegetables (i.e. zucchini, squash, carrots) or rice or pasta. Top with fresh basil.