Monday, March 7, 2011

Marinara Sauce with Vegetables & Lentils

Momma Mia!! Do I have a terrific recipe for you!
A few days ago, I came across a fabulous looking marinara recipe on Nourishing Eats. I have been thinking obsessing about pasta and marinara sauce and lots of veggies ever since. I've never made my own marinara sauce, but this recipe is really easy and I love that you can freeze it for a rainy day!

So, let's find our inner Italian and get cookin'!!

Marinara Sauce with Veggies & Lentils
Inspired by Nourishing Eats

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 large clove garlic, minced
7 c diced tomatoes (I used canned tomatoes)
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp honey
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
salt & pepper to taste
5 c of your favourite veggies, chopped (I used spinach, peppers, mushrooms, zucchini)
1 c lentils

Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add onion and garlic and cook until softened (do not brown).

Meanwhile, add your tomatoes to a food processor and process until they are mostly pureed. I used my Magic Bullet and pulsed the tomatoes, so that they were mostly puree with a bit of chunkiness.

Add the tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, honey and spices to your pot. Mix well. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium. You will need to simmer for 30 minutes. Taste the sauce periodically while it is simmering, so you can adjust the spices to your tastes.

Once 30 minutes has passed, remove the pot from the stove and throw in your veggies & lentils. Stir into the sauce and cover the pot. Let sit for 5 minutes.

I am still in the misdt of  my three week cleanse and I do not want my veggies over-cooked; I simply want them softened. If you want your veggies cooked more, add them to the sauce during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

I decided to serve my sauce with brown rice pasta. I cooked my pasta according to the directions (do not forget to salt your water - grandma says pasta just isn't right unless the water is salted and I agree 100%!!) Once the pasta has been cooked and drained, top with marinara.

If you have any sauce leftover at the end of your meal, you can store it in an airtight container in your fridge. I'm not sure what the fridge life will be, but I am planning to eat the leftovers within the week. Of course, you could always freeze the leftovers and enjoy it a few weeks down the road.

What a versatile recipe!! This sauce is full of wholesome goodness and you can change it up in so many ways. If you are a meat-eater, you could easily add lean ground beef or ground turkey to this recipe. In fact, this would be really good with veggie ground round as well.

Marinara doesn't just have to go along with pasta either. What about serving it as a dip for some gorgeous and delicious garlic bread? I used to be a lover of mozza sticks dipped in marinara as well. I'm telling you the uses for this sauce are limitless!!

I wish you a very productive and happy Monday,



  1. Yum! Marinara sauce is in danger when I'm around...I could easily eat a whole jar in a day. It's so darn good! I hope you're enjoying your cleanse still!

  2. I love marinara! I used to be a white sauce kind of girl but I have morphed!

  3. Mmmmm I love marinara sauce and especially with balsamic....I Love Balsamic so much and I love eating this on spaghetti squash :)


  4. I LOVE lentils & marinara! I usually make lentils in soup - I will have to try this. Thanks for sharing! :) Yum!

  5. Bless you woman...I have all that sauce leftover and a ton of lentils to use up! Mmmm...