This is not, as it might appear a vegetarian recipe, but it easily could be, just leave out the pancetta and use a vegie stock. It's based on my spag bol recipe but with a few changes, we've been eating more and more vegetarian dishes lately and I felt like creating something that had the same cosy vibe as a spag bol does but without the cow. It turned out better than I thought it would, its really good actually as good as the original, the lentils are completely fabulous and using french puy lentils means they hold their shape which is cute, its also faster than the other version, well my version anyway as I let it simmer away for a few hours, actually writing this reminds me I should post my spag bol recipe as its taken years to get it just right.
1 brown onion, peeled, diced
2 carrots, peeled, diced
2 celery sticks, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
100g pancetta, chopped
4 large field mushrooms, chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 fresh or dried bay leaves
3 sprigs of thyme
1 cup french puy lentils (rinsed)
400g tin of tomatoes
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
400ml tomato passata
Pop the olive oil into a large pot or high sided frypan and cook the pancetta, onion, carrot, celery until softened and starting to pick up some colour. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook for a further 10 minutes.
Next add in the bay leaves, thyme, lentils, stock and two kinds of tomatoes, reduce the heat to low cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 45- 60 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Season with s+p.
Serve with spaghetti and parmesan shavings and a extra drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. (I also like a sprinkle of rocket or parsley.)