I love a good pasta dish. I also love the great Italian sauces. I made a bolognese recipe with lentils. Now I want to do a ragu. Now I’m not talking about the spaghetti sauce in a jar under the same name. I am talking about the Italian meat sauce that it really flavorful. I was inspired to try this by a recipe I ran across from It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken for a Lentil Ragu. I love the recipe, but it is missing some nutritional value and some of the basic ingredients of a ragu sauce. These are namely onions, carrots, celery, and red wine. One thing the recipe does have is plenty of flavor otherwise. The nutritional yeast adds tons of flavor and B vitamins. They also do great with the other umami ingredients to replace the meat. However, I will be replacing the tomato and making a pumpkin ragu. I will be adding in the traditional ragu ingredients back in the dish. Here are the original stats:
As you can see the sodium is a bit high. The vitamin’s A and C as well as protein are a bit low. The rest looks pretty good. Here’s what I changed:
- I replaced the vegetable broth with a low sodium variety.
- I replaced the soy sauce with a low sodium variety
- I replaced the tomato sauce with pumpkin puree to increase the vitamin A.
- I added in a carrot to increase the vitamin A and stick to the traditional recipe.
- I am adding in red wine to stick to the traditional recipe.
- I am adding in an onion to stick to the traditional recipe
- I am adding in red bell pepper to increase the vitamin C.
- I am adding in two block of tofu to increase the protein
- I increased the serving from 6 to 8 to decrease the calories.
- I am using zucchini noodles to keep the calories down below 300.
Here are the final stats:
Here is the final recipe
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 2 14oz packages of extra-firm tofu, pressed and cubed
- 1 can pure pumpkin puree
- 1 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1.25 cup red lentils
- 125mL red table wine
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce (gluten-free if preferred)
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 lb zucchini noodles
- Spray a large saucepan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add in the carrot, onion, red bell pepper and celery and cook until softened.
- Add the cubed tofu and brown on all sides
- Add the pumpkin puree, vegetable broth, and lentils to a large skillet or saucepan. Cover and bring to a simmer stirring gently every now and then. Simmer covered for about 10 minutes until the lentils are tender.
- Finish the sauce by stirring in the walnuts, wine and all of the seasonings.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Saute the zucchini noodles until just cooked.
- You can either toss the hot pasta with the sauce, or spoon the sauce over top of the pasta.