Fennel is one of my favorite ingredients to work with, and I’ve combined it with hearty lentils in this pasta sauce recipe. I served mine with linguine, but it would go well with pretty much any type of pasta you prefer. I hope you’ll try it out, and if you post to Instagram use #plantbasedartist! I’d love to see your creations 🙂
about 4 servings
1/2 cup dry puy (French green) lentils*
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 cup fennel bulb, diced
1/4 cup carrot, grated
3 cups crushed tomatoes (28 oz can)
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 crushed red pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped fennel fronds/tops, optional
fresh herbs such as parsley, basil, and fennel fronds
vegan parm, optional
Rinse and drain the lentils. Cook the lentils with about 2 cups of water. I cooked mine in my Instant Pot on high pressure for 20 minutes (quick release). Alternatively, you can cook them in a large saucepan until very tender.
In a wide saucepan, heat the oil and toast the fennel seeds until lightly browned. Add the diced fennel bulb and cook until softened and lightly browned. Add the carrot and continue to cook for a couple minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes and spices. Cover and simmer for about 20-30 minutes. If desired, blend part or all of the sauce for a smoother consistency. Add the chopped fennel fronds/tops and cooked lentils with cooking liquid and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Add water to adjust the consistency to your preference and adjust seasonings to taste. Serve with your favorite pasta and top with fresh herbs and vegan parm if desired. Enjoy!
*Pre-cooked lentils can also be used. Use about 1 1/2 cup of cooked lentils. I have seen canned and refrigerated puy lentils and either should work fine with this recipe.