Sweet and salty lentil spaghetti
Sweet and salty lentil spaghettiSubscribe to Sainsbury's magazine
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
- 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
- handful basil leaves, large ones torn
- Parmesan (optional) - use vegetarian Italian-style hard cheese, or vegan cheese if required for vegan or dairy-free
- 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.
- 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. 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.
- 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.
- 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.