Pasta is one of our go-to family meals
Like a lot of other families, weat a lot of pasta. Honestly, if the Italians had never invented it I have no idea what our go-to midweek meal would be.
All three of my kids like pasta but it's a real favourite of my two-year-old in particular. He always chooses it when we eat out - regardless of what else is on the menu. If we happen to be somewhere that doesn't serve pasta he's genuinely baffled as to what to eat!
Our favourite pasta sauces
We love a good pasta sauce recipe and there are so many variations you can make.
- I sometimes make a simple tomato sauce to serve with our pasta
- Homemade pesto is always a winner - perhaps made with kale or spinach.
- Failing that I almost always have some variation of sneaky veg sauce in the freezer.
- Sometimes I add some chopped veggie sausages to the sauce - this is always popular with the kids. Sausage pasta bake is also a great midweek meal.
- You might also like my smoky tomato and aubergine pasta
- Finally this roasted carrot pasta sauce is a simple and delicious way to get an extra portion of veggies in.
But it was time for something new
I decided that it was time to introduce a new pasta sauce to our repertoire and I wanted to make one that included lentils and cauliflower.
Cauliflower is one of my favourite vegetables - especially roasted - but my older two kids can't be persuaded to eat it.
Lentils are a brilliant source of protein
Lentils are well worth including in your diet if you're vegan, vegetarian or trying to cut down on meat. Unfortunately, my kids aren't particularly keen on eating them.
This lentil and roasted cauliflower pasta sauce includes both. In the photos here I've blended the sauce but haven't made it too smooth. In another batch I made I blended it to be completely smooth and used it as a pizza sauce. It could also be left unblended - it's completely up to you and it tastes great whichever way you make it.
Incidentally, you don't have to roast the cauliflower - you could boil or steam it instead. But the flavour is SO much better from roasting it that I really recommend that you do.
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How to make lentil and roasted cauliflower pasta sauce
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Lentil and roasted cauliflower pasta sauce
For the roasted cauliflower
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small cauliflower broken into florets
For the lentils
- 100 g red lentils
For the sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic crushed
- 1 medium carrot grated
- 800 g tinned chopped tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- Splash balsamic vinegar
- ½ lemon juiced
- 1 tablespoon tomato purée
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (fan)/200°C/gas mark 6.
- Place the cauliflower florets (from 1 small cauliflower) into a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil and roast for around 30 minutes until soft and starting to brown on the edges. Stir half way.
- Cover 100g red lentils with boiling water, bring to the boil and then simmer until soft. Add a little more water if needed. Set aside.
- Heat a little olive oil in a large saucepan. Add 1 chopped onion and cook over a medium heat until soft. Stir often. Add 2 cloves crushed garlic and cook for a further minute.
- Stir through one grated carrot, heat through, then add 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes, 1 teaspoon oregano, a splash of balsamic vinegar, the juice of half a lemon and 1 tablespoon tomato purée.
- Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and leave to simmer.
- When cooked add the cooked lentils and roasted cauliflower.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Blend if desired or serve as it is with your favourite pasta shapes.
Pin lentil and roasted cauliflower pasta sauce for later
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