This is a great-tasting sauce for those who want to cut down on red meat without sacrificing that thick, meat-sauce flavour and texture.
Elapsed time 1 1/4 hours
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Saute the carrot, onions, garlic and celery in the oil over medium heat until softened, about 3 minutes.
Empty the stewed tomatoes into a small mixing bowl and mash lightly with a potato masher to break them down into smaller piece. For a somewhat spicier taste, use Italian-style stewed tomatoes.
Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, mushrooms, basil, oregano and lentils to the onion mixture and stir well. Simmer over low to medium heat for 1 hour, adding water as necessary to keep the mixture from becoming too dry or thick. It should have the consistency of a meat sauce.
Serve over your favourite pasta.
TIP: Make the sauce a bit thinner by adding a little more water during cooking and use it in your favourite lasagne recipe instead of meat sauce.
* Lentils are the only legume (beans to the non-cogniscenti) that don't have to be soaked or pre-cooked to tenderize. They're high in both fibre and protein.