Wash the lentils thoroughly and drain, add to pot with 4 cups of water. Cook on a medium heat for around 15 minutes until it is just cooked. Stir once in a while. You can also swap this for pre-cooked red lentils to save time.
Prepare the spaghetti or pasta according to instructions on the packet. Drain and set aside. If gluten free, using a gluten free pasta such as brown rice pasta.
Dice the carrots, mushrooms and red bell pepper. Remember you’re trying to recreate a ragu so you want the pieces to be relatively small.
Add the oil to a pan, along with the chopped onion and sauté for a couple of minutes before adding the chilli and garlic. After another couple of minutes, add the carrots, mushrooms and red bell pepper and mix in. Then add the spices (herbs, onion powder and black pepper) and coat well.
Add the can of tomatoes along with a cup of veggie stock and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the tomato paste and a pinch of sugar. You can also add a splash of red wine for deeper flavour at this point. Add in a teaspoon of salt.
Add in the cooked lentils and add a splash of water if it is too thick. Taste and adjust herbs and spices at this point if needed.
To serve, add in some sprigs of fresh basil and some nutritional yeast or vegan cheese. While best with spaghetti, this also tastes fantastic on it’s own or with a green salad.