Red pepper & lentil pasta sauce

This is the pasta sauce they serve on day one of a ten-day course @ Dhamma Dipa, pretty much. Get eight red’n’orange Dutch bell peppers for a quid down the Lane. Slice, de-seed & roast the peppers to concentrate their otherwise rather insipid flavour, along with garlic and any over ripe tomatoes that may lurk in one’s ‘fridge. If there’s no lurkers, as today, use tinned innit. Boil a cupful of red lentils for 20 mins, until soft, and boil wholemeal pasta twists, or whatever pasta you prefer, al dente. Meanwhile, sauté diced onion, carrot and celery. This mirepoix needs to almost caramelise in the bottom of a sauce pan with a fitted lid. Season it with paprika & cayenne. Add the cooked or tinned tomatoes, minced roasted garlic, plus any dried herbs (such as oregano) and cook through. Mix the cooked red lentils into the tomato sauce. Chop the roasted peppers finely (or whizz ’em in a food processor) and put them into the sauce, adding a splash of water if it’s too thick. You can add frozen peas, or corn kernels, at this point, as you fancy.

Drain the cooked pasta and return it to the pan, spoon the sauce over, stir it in and leave to stand with the lid on, over next-to-no heat, for three to five minutes. Garnish with fresh basil, if you have it, and serve with grated cheese.
I’m going to sit a vipassana course next week, so no doubt I’ll be eating a version of this for lunch on Wednesday:-)

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