*Notes: I was so intrigued by the pine nut vegan parm by Laura over at The First Mess that I made some to sprinkle on this pasta (pictured in the last photo), and man oh man is it good! I highly recommend it. This recipe makes more sauce then you’ll likely need for 1 lb of pasta but I’ve been enjoying the leftovers on toast with roasted chickpeas. It also freezes great and the recipe can be halved.
cauliflower lentil bolognese
2 tbs olive oil
1 small cauliflower, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 cup of lentils (any kind)
1 small yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbs dried oregano
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 28oz cans fire roasted tomatoes, crushed
4 tbs tomato paste
salt + pepper to taste
1 lb of pasta of your choice
basil or parsley for topping
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pan over medium high heat. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and cook until translucent, 5-7 minutes. Add the cauliflower and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle in the oregano and crushed red pepper flake and stir to combine. Add the tomato paste, canned tomatoes, lentils and salt and pepper and stir together. Cover and let simmer for 30-40 minutes until cauliflower is tender and lentils are cooked through.
In the meantime, boil water for pasta and chop basil or parsley for topping. When the sauce is done blend with an immersion blender or food processor to achieve your desired ‘saucy texture.’ I like this a bit on the chunkier side, similar to Bolognese, so I just slightly blended with my immersion blender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour sauce over pasta and top with chopped basil or parsley. Enjoy!