Written by Catherine Saxelby on Thursday, 28 July 2011.

  • Ready In: 50 minutes
  • Serves: 4

Mel Kettle, one of my Twitter pals and a serious foodie, has given me this great recipe:  "I love lentils. And I really don't cook with them often enough. And I don't know why. They are easy to cook, cheap, full of fibre and other stuff nutritionists love, low in calories, and really, really yummy!"

Mel says: "When I was a kid, mum used to always add lentils to her spag bol to add extra "goodness" and to make the mince go further. I really wasn't a lentil lover until probably my early 20s. However I did love her spag bol. Despite years of trying, I've never been able to replicate the flavour. Maybe one day..."


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped or minced
  • 1 red pepper, de-seeded and chopped
  • 150g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 x 400g can of lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 2 x 400g cans of diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup water or red wine
  • dash of tabasco, optional
  • teaspoon or two of herbs/spices - I use chipotle spice, but you could use Italian herbs, paprika, cumin or whatever takes your fancy
  • 240g pasta (I like spaghetti or linguine or fettucine)
  • parmesan cheese, for serving

Nutrition per serve

With 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese: 1,625 kJ (390 calories), 8g fat (2g saturated fat), 55g carbohydrate (8g sugars), 8g fibre and 430mg sodium.


  1. Heat the oil in a medium-large frypan on medium heat
  2. Add the onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes until pale (stir so it doesn't catch)
  3. Add the red pepper and mushroom and stir through for 2 minutes
  4. Add the lentils, tomatoes, water/red wine, tabasco and herbs and spices, stir to combine
  5. Lower the heat, cover the frypan and let the mixture simmer for 30-45 minutes. Stir every 15 minutes or so
  6. About 10-15 minutes before you want to eat, cook the pasta according to directions.
  7. Serve up and sprinkle grated parmesan cheese on top.