This is an excellent sauce to have down pat. It is basically exactly the same as you’d do with minced beef or lamb, but using puy lentils instead. The finished texture is extremely like a meat sauce.
1 tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 pepper (red or yellow)
1 mug puy lentils
1 tin tomatoes
1 stock cube (veg, beef or lamb)
2 tbsp dark soy
1 tbsp ketchup
1/2 ltr boiling water
Chop up the veg into small dice and mince the garlic. Fry the onion gently in the olive oil until glassy, then add the garlic and the rest of the veg. Allow to soften for a couple of minutes then add the lentils, stock cube, tinned tomato, soy and ketchup.
Stir well, then top up with boiling water; the water must cover everything with a little bit to spare. Stir well and leave to simmer. Check occasionally and stir, add more boiling water if needed. It should take around 40 mins. Season to taste. The sauce freezes well.
You can use this straight on noodles for spaghetti bolognaise, layered in a lasagne or nestled under mash to make a cottage pie. The babies really like it too, and for fussy eaters, just chop the veg a little finer. If you add a tin of kidney beans, a chilli and a tsp ground cumin, it becomes a lovely veggie chilli sauce which is great on baked spuds, scooped up with tortilla chips or ladled into split baguettes for the fantastically named sloppy Joes.