This pasta sauce is creamy and comforting while being both nutrient-rich and naturally vegan & gluten-free. Most vegan sauces call for cashews which can be costly. My recipe calls for red lentils which are an excellent source of protein and fibre. The added nutritional yeast delivers a satisfying cheesy taste and is a significant source of the B-complex vitamins.
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Creamy Red Lentil ‘Rosé’ with Roasted Red Peppers (Vegan & Nut Free)
Author: Milk & Marigolds Yields approx. 3 cups of sauce
Total Time: 30 – 40 minutes Serves: 4 with the pasta
Equipment: A high speed blender, one small cooking pot and one large pot
Note: The sauce yields enough for 2 separate meals (serving 8 in total). I like to make this batch and freeze half of the sauce for later. If you do not wish to do this, then halve the sauce recipe.
1/2 cup of dried spilt red lentils
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 heaping tablespoon of finely minced garlic
2 1/2 tbsp of fresh lemon juice
100 g or 3/4 cup cauliflower
1 full cup of roughly chopped roasted red pepper (I used jarred), plus a 1/4 cup for garnish
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 1/2 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Gluten Free stock cube
1 400 mL sized can coconut milk (you will need 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp of the coconut cream only. This is the coconut fat that sits at the top of canned coconut)
salt & pepper to taste
250 g or 8.8oz of pasta
A small bunch of fresh basil, roughly chopped
roasted red peppers, roughly chopped
jarred artichokes and/or olives your choice
extra virgin olive oil
dried chili flakes
1. Gather all the ingredients and equipment required. Begin by rinsing the lentils with cold water and drain. Add the lentils to a small pot along with 1 1/4 cups of water. Cover and bring to a simmer. The spilt lentils should take about 10 – 15 minutes to cook. Stir occasionally and add a bit more water if needed.
2. Meanwhile, chop the onion and mince the garlic. Also, chop and set aside your garnishes for later. Cut the cauliflower into small chunks and place it in a bowl of water to cook quickly in the microwave or stovetop if preferred. I usually steam it in the microwave for 3-4 minutes.
3. At this time you may want to prepare your large cooking pot for the pasta. Always salt your water prior to adding the pasta to it. A couple generous pinches will do. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Add the pasta to the boiling water when you are ready. Stir occasionally so the GF pasta noodles don’t stick together.
4. Once the lentils have cooked, scrape them into the blender. Reserve the cooking pot to add the oil and warm it on medium heat. Then, add the onions and sauté until tender. Add the garlic and sauté for a couple more minutes. Lower the heat and add the stock cube along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Scrape the contents into the blender. Also, add the cooked cauliflower, the coconut cream, roasted red peppers, lemon juice and the nutritional yeast. Blend until completely smooth.
5. Strain pasta and then add it back to the pot. Then, pour out about 1 cups worth of sauce into the same pot as the pasta and combine it well. Add more sauce if desired. Generously garnish with fresh basil and roasted red peppers, dried chilies and add more salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with more extra virgin olive oil and serve while warm. Enjoy!
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