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I love Italian food, thick creamy pastas, cheesy pizzas, oily olive bread…. But I can’t eat it every day without comprising my health and fitness goals - eat less gluten. It’s not that I am gluten intolerant or coeliac even, it’s just that all these wheat products tend to hang around my hips and I would like some of it to shift. If you don’t like exercise too much then changing your diet will help immensely.
So in my kitchen, I have decided to make a gluten-free spaghetti bolognese, and for the most part of our readers, I figured I would try a vegetarian one. If you liked our lentil substitute for our Shepards Pie then you will love this recipe. By the way, this pasta sauce is home-made.
What you need:
Prepare first your fruits and vegs (because tomatoes are fruit, right?) Blanch the tomatoes and then peel and remove the seeds. Blanching a fruit or vegetable is when you cut an ‘x’ into the top and dip into boiling water for 20 seconds, then remove to cold water immediately after. This allows for an easier, flawless peel. Finely chop the onions and mince the garlic. Pour the olive oil into a large pot and heat gently. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes. Then add the garlic and saute for another 2 minutes, or until the onion becomes translucent. Be aware to not have the heat too high as you will only burn the onions and garlic.
Add your tomatoes and then stir in your fresh or dried herbs and salt it. Let simmer for 2 hours minimum, until it has darkened. This is when the aroma fills up the whole house and the neighbours pass by with their tongues hanging out! When you are satisfied with your sauce, after tasting and seasoning further if needed, turn off the heat and remove the sprigs and the bay leaves. Depending on how you like your sauce you can blend it with an immersion blender or just leave it be!
While your sauce is simmering you can clean up your mess and start on part two: the bolognese.
Peel and dice the carrots, pip and cut into slices the olives, and chop into chunks your remaining onion. Wash your lentils and add everything, including your remaining bay leaf, to a pot of boiling water, the volume of water being much greater than the lentils. Let simmer for 30 minutes. Strain, and using the same water cook your pasta, following the instructions on the packet.
In a separate pan (I know, I know, the mess!) add your lentil mix with the necessary amount of sauce you prefer and over a low heat slowly stir. Continue like this for 15 minutes. Season to your tasting with salt and pepper. Add you pasta to a bowl, pour your sauce over it, and serve.