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Lentil Sunday Sauce with Pasta
and Italian house salad

Active: 45 Total: 45

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. 



Lentil Sunday Sauce (for 2 nights):
  • 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
Italian House Salad:
  • 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)


  1. Carrots / Onions / Garlic - Prep as directed and combine. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  2. Cucumbers / Tomatoes / Black olives - Prep as directed and combine. (Can be done 1 day ahead)

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  1. Heat olive oil (portion for sauce) in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add carrots, onions, and garlic with some salt. Saute until very tender, 6 to 7 minutes. 

  2. Stir in tomato paste, oregano, and thyme until fragrant, ~1 minute.

  3. 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).

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Drain pasta and spread out on a serving platter.

  7. 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.

  8. Top pasta and sauce with some parmesan cheese (if using). Enjoy salad on the side.



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