This simple marinara recipe from The Plant-Based Cookbook gets added flavor and heartiness from mushrooms, carrots, and lentils. Serve it with a simple, crisp green salad or a side of crusty bread for a quick, crowd-pleasing meal.
What you need:
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
2 medium carrots, finely diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
4 ounces button or cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon dried basil
¾ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes or to your preference
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2½ cups vegetable broth
1 cup red lentils, rinsed
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons coconut sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups baby spinach
16 ounces gluten-free spaghetti noodles, cooked according to package directions
Vegan parmesan cheese, for garnish
What you do:
- In a large sauté pan, add onion, carrots, and ¼ cup water, and cook for 5 minutes or until onion is translucent. Add water as needed to prevent burning.
- Add garlic, mushrooms, basil, thyme, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Stir and continue to cook on medium heat for another 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, vegetable broth, and red lentils and stir. Cover pan and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Partially remove cover, and continue to simmer for another 10 to 12 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
- Remove cover and add balsamic vinegar, coconut sugar, salt, spinach, and cook for another minute. Remove from heat.
- To serve, divide pasta onto 4 serving plates and top with marinara. Garnish with parmesan.