Lentil Sunday Sauce with Pasta
and Italian house salad
Sunday Sauce is an Italian-style tomato sauce that is slow-cooked and served with pasta. It gets its name because many families with Italian roots traditionally made it on Sundays using any meat that was leftover from earlier in the week. Our vegetarian version uses lentils, which give the sauce texture and a good amount of protein.
Smarts: Make a double batch of Sunday sauce tonight to use leftovers in Wednesday's meal.
- Carrots - 8 oz, diced
- Onions, medium - 1, diced
- Garlic - 5 cloves, chopped
- Oil, olive - 1 Tbsp
- Tomato paste - 3 Tbsp
- Oregano, dried - 2 tsp
- Thyme, dried - 2 tsp
- Tomatoes, whole peeled (28 oz / 795 g) - 1 can
- Tomato sauce or puree (14 oz / 397 g) - 1 can
- Wine, red - 1/2 cup (sub stock)
- Lentils, uncooked French / green - 2 cups (enough for 2 nights)
- Vinegar, balsamic - 1 Tbsp
- Cheese, parmesan (opt) - for serving, grated
- Pasta, any type - 8 oz
- Cucumbers - 8 oz, cubed
- Tomatoes, cherry or grape - 1 cup, halved
- Olives, black (4 oz / 114 g) - 1 can, drained
- Vinegar, red or white wine - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Mustard, Dijon - 1 tsp
- Oil, olive - 3 Tbsp
- Mixed greens - 5 oz (sub any salad greens)
Stir in tomato paste, oregano, and thyme until fragrant, ~1 minute.
Pour liquid from the cans of tomatoes into the pot and then, using your hands, crush the whole tomatoes as you add them. Add tomato sauce and red wine. Bring to a simmer. Stir in lentils and balsamic vinegar. Cover and simmer until lentils are tender, 20 to 30 minutes (cook time may vary, so check lentils on the lower end of the cook time and continue simmering longer if needed).
While lentils and sauce simmer, bring a large stock pot of salted water (for the pasta) to boil. When water is boiling, add pasta and cook according to package directions.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together red or white wine vinegar and mustard. Add olive oil (portion for salad) while whisking. Top vinaigrette with cucumbers, tomatoes, black olives, and mixed greens. Wait to toss salad until right before serving.
Drain pasta and spread out on a serving platter.
Taste sauce and season with some salt and pepper. Divide sauce in half. Spread half over pasta (for tonight). Reserve the second half for Wednesday’s meal.
Top pasta and sauce with some parmesan cheese (if using). Enjoy salad on the side.
I loved this- it was so good and a great cold night meal! I used a whole small can of tomato paste after reading reviews that it was thin and also added a tablespoon of sugar to the sauce.1 Helpful
Very good!0 Helpful
Husband and I thought this was delicious, and it was super easy. Kids prefer spaghetti with meat sauce.0 Helpful
Made with chuck roast for fam dinner everyone enjoyed & grandparents had sauce next day as sandwiches.0 Helpful
I really enjoyed this! Didn't quite have enough lentils and had to mix in red ones (which thickened it up nicely); it was so tasty. A satisfying meal for several chilly nights.0 Helpful
I made this from what I had in the pantry, so we skipped the salad. I also skipped tomato paste as I didn't have any (!). Forgot to brown the meat as I put this together in the AM before leaving for work. In the end, it all came together well. I still prefer italian sausage as the meat, but this turned out delicious. I'm adding it to my "pantry staples" collection.0 Helpful
Made mine in the Insta pot and was surprised that the beef wasn’t as tender as I expected but it was certainly juicy. The recipe made tons and tons of sauce and was very flavorful.0 Helpful