Alright, so here's the deal, dudes: we got 17 inches of snow last night, so I had a work snow day today. Fuck yeah! What did I do? Cooked the shit outta some food. Waffles for breakfast. Leftover curried lentil soup for lunch. And this spectacular dish for dinner. It was an experiment for sure. I never even thought about making pasta sauce in a crockpot before. What the hell is wrong with me?
I've not made homemade pasta sauce in so long, and I thought I would give it a shot in my crockpot. I had to get creative with my ingredients since I (literally) can't leave the house. There are nearly 2 feet of snow in the street so there's no way in hell I can go to the store! Soooooo, I improvised with a few things, like using lentils instead of tvp, english muffins for garlic toast, and I had no mushrooms (insert sad face). I worried it wouldn't turn out, but WOW. This is some of the best sauce I've ever had. And the lentils are insanely filling. I rocked this shit out.
I have a 5 or 6 quart crockpot, and set it to HIGH for this sauce. It took me about 4 hours to get it cooked down to where I wanted it to be. Your crock may take longer or less time.
This easily makes enough for 4 large servings over pasta.
What I used:
- 1- 28oz can crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups veg broth or water
- 1-2 TBs Italian spice blend (mix of basil, parsley, oregano, and marjoram or something similar)
- 1/2 cup matchstick carrots, minced
- 1/2 diced bell pepper
- 1 1/2 cups diced onion
- 1 TB oil of your choice
- 4 cloves garlic, mined
- 1 cup dried lentils
- lots of pepper
- salt to taste
- dash of red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp garlic powder (gimme a break...I love garlic)
- 1/2 cup almond milk (takes out the metalic bitterness of the canned tomatoes)
- Set the crock pot to HIGH. Add the tomatoes.
- In a skillet, heat the oil. Once hot, add the onions and carrots. After the onions turn translucent, add the garlic and cook another 4 minutes. Add the veg to the crockpot.
- Add the broth, lentils, and spices and stir well. Cover with lid and cook for about 4 hours. Just be sure to stir it about once an hour. Just before the sauce reaches the 4 hour mark, I stirred in the almond milk and cooked about 15 minutes longer. It kills that metallic taste of canned tomatoes. Depending on how thick you like the sauce, you may need to add a bit more broth. I like it thick, so I didn't add any extra.