Bolognese sauce is one of the standard sauces in Italian cuisine. It’s a meat sauce which is totally delicious. Because it is a meat sauce, it’s also a lot of saturated fat and calories. Then pair it with pasta and you have a nutritional nightmare. Fear not, the humble lentil saves the day! Sorchapud posted a recipe on All Recipes for Lentil Bolognese. I couldn’t resist. This is a bolognese sauce based off of lentils. This recipe has the best stats yet of any recipe I’ve adjusted here on Your Level Best. Everything is pretty much good off the jump. The only downside is protein. The protein is low, but we can fix that. It also contains tomatoes and we can fix that too. However, I had trouble deciding if I wanted to pair the sauce with a gluten free carb or a veggie noodle. I would typically use spaghetti squash, but it is hard to get in the summer. I ended up using zucchini noodles because it is much easier to find. Maybe when it gets colder I’ll try this sauce with spaghetti squash.
Here are the stats for the sauce:
- 256 Calories
- 4g Fat
- 0mg Cholesterol
- 177mg Sodium
- 1033mg Potassium
- 38g Carbohydrate
- 13g Protein
- 127% Vitamin A
- 140% Vitamin C
- 7% Calcium
- 31% Iron
Not bad, right. I would say right of the bat it’s pretty healthy. Here are the changes I made:
- I deleted the diced tomato.
- I added two more red bell pepper to replace the tomatoes.
- I replaced the canned lentils with dried lentils and increased the amount to up the protein.
- I increased the amount of broth to 3.5 cups to cook the lentils.
Here is the updated recipe:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, or to taste
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed and finely chopped
- 2 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 carrot, cut into small cubes
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 3.5 cups vegetable broth
- 1 3/4 cup dried lentils
- 1 teaspoon ground paprika, or more to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried basil, or more to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano, or more to taste
- 1 teaspoon mixed dried herbs, or to taste
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook and stir onion and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in red bell pepper and carrot; cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook and stir until softened, about 2 minutes.
- Pour wine into the pot; simmer until slightly reduced, about 1 minute. Stir in vegetable broth. Bring sauce to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until flavors combine, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in lentils, paprika, basil, oregano, dried herbs, and nutmeg; cook until lentils are done, another 15 minutes.