2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large carrot, diced small
1 large stick celery, diced small
1 medium onion, diced small
2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon salt
8 ounces mushrooms, diced small
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 – 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth (or 1 – 32 oz. carton, divided)
1 cup lentils, brown or green
Pasta of choice or 1 large zucchini, peeled into ribbons as “noodles”
1. Heat olive oil in a skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add carrot, celery, onion, bay leaves and salt to the skillet and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes or until onion is translucent.
2. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook for 4 minutes or until soft.
3. Stir in the tomato paste, black pepper, oregano, thyme, basil, and red pepper flakes and stir for 1 to 2 minutes to build flavor
4. Add crushed tomatoes, vegetable stock, and lentils. Stir to combine.
5. Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until lentils are soft.
6. When lentils are tender and the sauce has reduced, remove bay leaves.
7. Serve alone or over a bed of pasta or zucchini noodles. Enjoy!