If you are looking for a great alternative to a meat-filled pasta sauce, this Spicy Beluga Pasta Sauce with Mushrooms and Wine is ideal. Beluga lentils make this pasta sauce thick, hearty and nutritious. Dried mushrooms (soaked in red wine) give a nice earthy tone to this dense spicy sauce.
We love to add a few meat-free dinners into our rotation. Since my family would eat pasta every night of the week if I let them, healthier versions of pasta sauces are just what we need. Tomato puttanesca is the perfect example.
Beluga lentils are such a great ingredient. We love Poached Eggs & Lentil Hash for brunch or dinner. Did you know that lentils are great for gluten-free and vegan recipes too? Spicy Beluga Pasta Sauce has you covered, and even the meat lovers won’t miss the meat in this beluga lentil recipe.
Even though we are meat eaters, I try to incorporate different proteins into our diet for variety and healthy nutritious alternatives. This pasta sauce is filled with great flavour and has a nice “meaty” texture. If you love lentils as much as we do, creating delicious recipes like Puy Lentil Healthy Pasta Sauce is easy and budget-friendly too.
Have you ever heard of black beluga lentils? They are just one of the several varieties of delicious lentils available. They sort or resemble caviar. Most people know of green, red, and brown lentils. Lentils are the perfect meat alternative. Tourtiere recipe is the perfect example of swapping out meat and replacing it with lentils. A traditional dish that is still delicious without sacrificing flavour or texture.
Beluga (and ALL lentils) are:
- an economical source of protein
- rich in minerals, vitamins, and fibre
- heart healthy
- low in fat
Cooking beluga lentils, (or any type of lentil) is not difficult. Similar to cooking rice:
- no soaking required
- use a 2:1 ratio of water/liquid to lentils (less if you want a firmer texture)
- cook for 15-20 minutes
- 1 cup of dry lentils yields 2 cups of cooked lentils
Although we do love our meat, this Spicy Beluga Pasta Sauce recipe certainly is a nice change of pace from traditional meat sauces. This can be used on any type of pasta and would work great in lasagna too. Healthy doesn’t mean “not delicious”.
For this one-pan beluga pasta sauce I used:
- black beluga lentils
- dried mushrooms (soaked in red wine)
- diced onion
- diced yellow and orange peppers
- minced garlic
- canned tomatoes
- tomato sauce
- Italian seasoning
- salt & pepper
- dried chili pepper flakes
- fresh basil
- parmesan cheese
Have you used dried mushrooms before? They are so rich and earthy. Reconstitute them in liquid before using. In this pasta sauce, red wine served as the liquid, then I used the wine in the sauce. Pasta and wine are a sure thing in our house. Always use a wine you would drink since you only need 1 cup of wine for the sauce. Have some while you cook, or save it to enjoy with your meal.
Back to the beluga sauce recipe. This all comes together in one pot (except for the pasta). If you happen to have any extra fresh mushrooms don’t be scared to chop them up as well and toss them into the sauce. Any colour of fresh pepper works here. I have made this sauce with green peppers before. As for the chili pepper flakes, use as much or little as you like. We like our Spicy Beluga Pasta Sauce on the “hotter” side.
This pasta sauce recipe makes about 8 cups. It freezes well, so you can make a huge batch and pop some in there for later down the road.
Meatless Monday just got a little tastier and a whole lot healthier. Spicy Beluga Pasta Sauce with Mushrooms and Wine is the perfect gluten-free, meatless, vegetarian, and vegan meal for any night of the week. Hope you give it a try soon.
This sauce would also be perfect over homemade herbed potato gnocchi.
Do you have a favourite lentil dish you like to make?
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Spicy Beluga Pasta Sauce with Mushrooms and Wine
- 1 cup dry mushrooms
- 1 cup dry red wine (your choice)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup Beluga lentils (rinsed)
- 5 ounces onion (diced)
- 4 cloves garlic (minsed)
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- 10 ounces bell peppers (diced) (I used yellow and orange)
- 19 ounces canned petit cut tomatoes (1 can)
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp red chili flakes
- 14 ounces tomato sauce (1 can)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil (for garnish)
- Fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano (for garnish)
- Soak mushrooms in the red wine for approximately 30 minutes.Drain and squeeze the mushrooms. Reserve the wine. Chop the mushrooms.
Rinse lentils and set aside.
- Heat a heavy bottom skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil.
- Add the onion, garlic, and chili flakes. Sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add the Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and the reserved wine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat slightly and simmer for 3 minutes.
- Add the drained lentils and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and peppers. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the water, tomatoes and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 25-30 minutes (until desired sauce consistency).
- Remove from heat. Serve over your favourite pasta garnished with chopped fresh basil and grated parmesan cheese.
Lots of protein and a nice "spicy" flavour for a homemade heart healthy meal. Makes approximately 7 cups of sauce.