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Sweet and salty lentil spaghetti


Serves: 4
timePrep time: 25 mins
timeTotal time:
Sweet and salty lentil spaghetti
Recipe photograph by Stuart West

Sweet and salty lentil spaghetti

This sauce is inspired by the Sicilian dish caponata, but with the salty and sour elements stirred in at the end. When cooking lentils, don't add acidity and salt too early as it can prevent them from becoming tender – good to remember if you’re substituting them for meat or veg in your favourite recipes

Serves: 4
timePrep time: 25 mins
timeTotal time:

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Nutritional information (per serving)
Calories
716Kcal
Fat
36gr
Saturates
7gr
Carbs
67gr
Sugars
19gr
Fibre
20gr
Protein
21gr
Salt
2.6gr

Sarah Cook

Sarah Cook

Sarah, a former food editor, has now been writing and styling recipes for over 10 years. Born in NZ, to Irish-English immigrants, and married to a Polish-Scot, her food is as diverse as her family, with a particular passion for baking mash-ups.

See more of Sarah Cook’s recipes
Sarah Cook

Sarah Cook

Sarah, a former food editor, has now been writing and styling recipes for over 10 years. Born in NZ, to Irish-English immigrants, and married to a Polish-Scot, her food is as diverse as her family, with a particular passion for baking mash-ups.

See more of Sarah Cook’s recipes

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 celery sticks, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 400g large vine tomatoes, diced
  • 100g sundried tomatoes, drained and roughly chopped
  • 25g tomato purée
  • 1 tsp caster or granulated sugar
  • 125g dried Puy lentils, washed and drained
  • 300g wholewheat or other spaghetti
  • 50g sultanas
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 150g pitted Kalamata or Queen olives, drained
  • 3 tbsp small capers, rinsed
To serve
  • handful basil leaves, large ones torn
  • Parmesan (optional) - use vegetarian Italian-style hard cheese, or vegan cheese if required for vegan or dairy-free

Step by step

Get ahead
Make and store the sauce in the fridge for up to 2 days, or cook a large batch, portion up and freeze
  1. Heat the oil in a deep frying pan or wide casserole, add the onion and celery and start cooking over a low heat. Cover with a lid, and apart from the occasional stir, leave for 15 minutes until the veg are really soft. Stir in the garlic and fry uncovered for a couple of minutes.
  2. Stir in the fresh and sundried tomatoes, plus the tomato purée, the sugar, lentils and 900ml of water. Simmer fiercely, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes until the lentils are just about tender and the sauce has thickened into a ragu-like sauce. If the lentils are still al dente, add another 100ml water and cook for a further 5 minutes. Cook the pasta following pack instructions.
  3. Add the sultanas and vinegar to the sauce and cook for 5 minutes more. To finish the sauce, chop 50g of the olives and stir through the sauce with half the capers, then season with lots of black pepper and some salt.
  4. To serve, drain the pasta then toss with the lentil sauce. Use tongs to divide the pasta between bowls, spooning leftover sauce over the top. Finally toss together the whole olives, remaining capers and basil and scatter over to finish. Eat with a good grating of Parmesan.
    Tip
    Any long- stranded pasta works well with this sauce, such as linguine or tagliatelle.

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