With our #newmealoftheweek series, we have challenged ourselves to try and create a new dish in the kitchen each week to expand our foodie horizons with plenty of delicious recipes.
Okay, so I might get some hate for this recipe adaption because I know there is a lot of passion surrounding Italian food and being as authentic as possible. I’m sure a lot of people feel strongly that spice does not belong in a bolognese. So, let me just say, I hear you, I respect your views but I’m still going to do my own thing in my kitchen, so either join me in my madness or let it be.
For inspiration this week I found this Lentil Bolognese soup recipe on BBC Good Food, and what can I say, I was intrigued. Two of my favourite dinner foods are lentils and pasta, and although I had never thought to mix the two together before, I figured, hey what is this new meal each week malarky all about if not to try out some dishes I would never usually consider. So, I gave it a go and winged it a little because that’s the only way I really know how to cook.
- Rapeseed oil
- 2 onions
- 4 garlic cloves
- 3 chilli peppers
- 4 large carrots
- 4 celery sticks
- Bouillon powder
- 500g passata
- 150g red lentils
- 125g penne pasta
- smoked paprika seasoning
- thyme seasoning
- black pepper
- Cheese (ideally Paramsen but you can improvise like I did)
Step 1) I like to prepare all the constituent parts before I begin cooking, this is usually because when I turn the heat on, everything goes very fast pace. Firstly, dice your onion, carrots and celery.
Step 2) Next turn your attention to crushing the garlic and dicing up the chilli peppers. I went for three chilli peppers and thought it was a good level of spice, but obviously you can adjust the amount depending on your own preference, including having none at all.
Step 3) This is when things get a little fast pace. Start by frying the onions so they catch a little colour and soften. Then add in the garlic, stir. Add in the chilli peppers, stir. Add in the carrots, stir. Then finally, add in the celery, stir. Let everything soften for another 5-10 minutes on the heat, constantly stirring.
Step 4) The pace picks up again here so its probably best you have pre-measured everything beforehand. Start by adding in the passata, followed by the lentils and then 2 litres of boiling water and give it all a good stir.
Step 5) Now to add a little extra flavour, throw in a tablespoon of bouillon powder and some smoked paprika, thyme seasoning and black pepper. Bring everything to the boil and then cover it. Let it simmer for 10 minutes, give it a good stir and then give it another 10 minutes.
Step 6) Everything should be quite thick now as you add in the pasta. If you find the pasta isn’t softening very well though then add a little extra water, but not too much as we actually want to create a thicker sauce and not a soup-like consistency.
Step 7) Time to get cheesy! This is where people will definitely come for my head but let me just say, it was all the cheese I had in the house and it actually tasted really good. Start by mixing 50g of cheddar cheese directly into the sauce, then stir well until it is fully mixed in. Then I went wild and grated up the remaining double Gloucester and roquito pepper cheese that I had to use as a topping for serving.
Step 8) For final touches, add some thyme seasoning, the grated double Gloucester and roquito pepper cheese and just dig in. There we have it, a spicy version of lentil bolognese that went down a treat!
If you give this recipe a go then make sure to tag us at witworld2019 on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and let’s start using the hashtag #newmealoftheweek so that we can gather together a delicious array of exciting new meals to try!
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