I bought an awesome vegetarian cook book in the beginning stages of my vegetarianism and it really helped me to find some great new recipes and to understand more about what I should eat to have a well-rounded diet. A lot of these recipes in the books are not vegan but are very easily veganized so this recipes, which after the first time I made it became one of my favorites, is still something I regularly eat. The combination of sweet and spicy is really great and the yoghurt on the side rounds the whole dish off well. Also, pasta with a tomato lentil sauce is something even omnivores will like because the lentils give some bite to the dish and because lentils are tiny superstars, nobody has to worry about getting enough protein and iron either.
Besides veganizing the recipe by substituting the honey for agave syrup and the yoghurt by soy yoghurt, I also made some changes to the original recipe to make it easier to prepare in case I don’t have all the required ingredients at home.
Lentils (Dried or canned are both fine, when using dried lentils, it will take a bit longer to cook; when using dried lentils, beluga or puy lentils work best)
Tomatoes (I use canned tomatoes most of the time because I like the little extra juice from them and they’re easier and quicker to use)
Harissa paste (2 tsp)
Agave syrup (2 tsp)
Fresh mint (I’m not a fan of it so I just use some dried chives instead)
Pasta (Penne works really well but I basically make this with any kind I have at hand)
Heat the oil in a skillet and then add the (spring) onion and lentils. Add the stock (when using canned lentils, I only add a little bit for some taste, when using dried lentils make sure to use enough so the lentils can cook properly) and tomatoes. Add the harissa and agave syrup (either go by the recipe or just add as much or less as you want, depending on your spicy and sweet tastes), cover and let it simmer for a while. In the meantime prepare your pasta and yoghurt. For the yoghurt, mash some garlic into it and add the mint (or chives in my case) and the green part of the spring onions. Mix all of that and add some salt to taste. When the lentil ragout is done, add some salt to taste and serve over the pasta with the yoghurt on the side.