Monday, July 5, 2010

Vegetarian ? At least I'm trying with this pasta!

When I think about it, I do eat quite a bit of meat every day.  So I’ll often have a big salad for lunch (‘big salad’ – echoes of Elaine from Seinfeld, haha) in preparation of a carnivorous night-time meal. And I’m talking about chicken as well as beef or lamb.

So this is a concerted effort to eat a little less meat once in a while, though still having a satisfying main meal. I must say, too, that I still have to have some carbohydrates – that’s what really fills you up.

The lentils in this spaghetti sauce also give the dish some heft, and using a bought pasta sauce gives it even more flavour. I will admit that I bought this particular sauce because I liked the shape of the jar (it’s the new Bertolli brand tomato pasta sauce with parmesan).

Spaghetti with Lentils and Fetta
serves 2

2 tblsp olive oil
1 zucchini, finely sliced
1 stick celery, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
200g tomato pasta sauce
400g can brown lentils
200g spaghetti
70g fetta cheese, crumbled

1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the zucchini and celery and cook, stirring, over low heat for 5 minutes until softened.
2. Add the garlic, cumin, tomato pasta sauce and 1/2 cup water. Bring to the boil and season with salt and black pepper. Turn the heat to low, simmer for 10 minutes, add the lentils and cook for a further 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in boiling, salted water according to packet instructions.
4. Drain the pasta, put into bowls and top with the sauce. Sprinkle with fetta and serve.

Ingredients, including zucchini, celery, pasta sauce in a pretty jar, lentils and cumin

Notice my improved knife skills in the finely diced celery.

There you have it, a very tasty vegetarian dish.

And the snowy fetta looks brilliant against the lush lentil and tomato sauce.

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  1. Fetta cheese... nom nom. This looks delicious!

  2. I like the sound of that combo! Hehe I felt like Elaine when I was in Paris and all I wanted was "a big salad" which they don't tend to do :P

  3. Oh, I know what you mean - I eat too much meat too. But "you don't mnake friends with salad!"

    I'm ashamed to say I usually steer clear of vegetarian food but having good vego friends has taught me otherwise & I even cook vego dishes for them. Might have to keep this one in mind for the next time I cook vegetarian!

  4. Just lovely. I made this dish occasionally for my vegetarian friend. And it's always a hit!

  5. Nice touch on the lentils to give it a nice texture! And feta as well. I have to give this a try on one of my meatless days.

  6. Oooooh, very impressed with your nicely diced celery! :D

  7. LOL you bought the sauce because of the pretty jar? I'm an absolute sucker for packaging as well! That, and a good bargain =p

  8. yum. gimme a plate of this please! *rubs tummy*

  9. Looks delish Belle! Sounds like something I could make to take to work for lunch when I'm meant to be eating "healthy".

  10. I eat heaps of meat too! But I eat heaps of veggies so hopefully that kinda balances things out...haha =]

    I didn't realise this was vegetarian from looking at the pics- the lentils look like minced meat...haha. It looks really yummy too!

  11. Yum yum looks tasty.. Oh lurvvv fetta. I guess you could also try this with puy (french) lentils - they are oh so tasty :D

  12. Simple, quick, healthy, tasty and pretty - what more could you want?

  13. All looks good except for the celery, I can't stand the stuff! I may just substitute that with a bit of mince :p Love the first pic of the uncooked pasta!

  14. I've got some serious lentil love. I can only imagine how much I would love them if I found them in a pretty jar, omg.

  15. Bel, how did I miss this post? Did you double post, or am I just out of it (smile)?
    This sounds delicious. There is actually a dish like this in Egypt. It is one of the most popular foods in the country-so wonderful and healthful it is!