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Lentils make a fantastic and nutritious substitute for ground beef in a thick and hearty pasta sauce, especially when paired with whole wheat pasta. Even better, you can cook the pasta right in the sauce, making this dish an easy one-pot weeknight wonder.
2 1/2 cups (625 mL) water
1 (28 oz/796 mL) can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) tomato puree (passata)
1 onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 (227 g/0.5 lb) package mushrooms, sliced
1 cup (250 mL) green lentils
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) dried Italian herb seasoning
1 (13 oz/375 g) package whole wheat penne
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt and pepper
1/4 cup (60 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
Quick Tip: For a vegan option, leave out the cheese, or replace it with a sprinkling of nutritional yeast.