Pulses such as lentils are a great way to extend meat and add heart-healthy fibre to your diet at the same time. In her newest cookbook, "Peace, Love and Fibre", professional home economist Mairlyn Smith breaks down exactly what fibre is and why it’s such an important part of a healthy life, using her trademark sense of humour and enthusiasm. Get started with this surprisingly traditional Bolognese sauce with secret lentils:
Big Batch Bolognese
1¼ lb. (560 g) extra-lean ground beef
2 onions, diced
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. (15 mL) dried oregano leaves
1 tsp. (5 mL) freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp. (2.5 mL) table salt
2 28 fl. oz. (796 mL) cans crushed or ground tomatoes
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 19 fl. oz. (540 mL) cans lentils, rinsed and well-drained
¼ cup (60 mL) pesto
1 8.8 oz. (250 g) package pappardelle pasta
1 tbsp. (15 mL) extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. (15 mL) shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano
Heat a Dutch oven or a large saucepan with high sides over medium heat. Add the beef, breaking it up into small pieces as it browns. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes until the onions soften, but be careful not to burn the garlic. Add the oregano, pepper, salt, tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and lentils. Mix well. Bring to a simmer, cover, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 55 to 60 minutes.
Stir in the pesto. Remove the sauce from the heat. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Combine the cooked pasta with 4 cups sauce and gently combine. Divide the pasta and sauce equally among four plates. Drizzle each with 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil and 1 tbsp. shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Makes 4 servings.
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