Spaghetti is an ally when time is short. We use whole-wheat or vegetable pasta in various shapes to lend some variety to this favorite standby. If whole-wheat pasta is a little heavy for your taste, you can mix in 1/4 or 1/2 semolina pasta. I have found that cooked lentils and carrots (leftover from the night before) can be blended into the sauce quite unobtrusively when liquefied with a bit of water. They lighten the color of the sauce and decrease the acidity. The lentils lend a “meaty” flavor. If your kids don’t mind undisguised beans and carrots, you can put them on top of the spaghetti mountain. Bean balls are delicious too, if you have the time to make them. Serve this dish with a salad of plain lettuce, romaine, carrot sticks, and yogurt dressing, and you have a quick and easy, nourishing meal.
16 oz. spaghetti
3 cups of your favorite spaghetti sauce
1 cup cooked lentils, pintos, or garbanzos
1 carrot, slightly steamed in a little water (optional)
1 onion, slightly fried until tender in 1 tablespoon ghee (optional)
Cook the spaghetti in a large pot. Drain in a colander.
Blend the sauce, water, lentils in a blender at a slow speed until they are liquefied.
Heat the sauce on low. When it simmers, it’s ready to serve.
1½ cups cooked lentils or other beans
1 cup whole-wheat bread crumbs
1 tablespoon grated Romano cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons parsley flakes
2 teaspoons onion powder
1/8 teaspoon pepper
salt to taste
Mash the beans and mix them with other ingredients, adjusting the seasonings—less will be needed if you’re using leftover beans that you’ve already seasoned.
Wet your palms to prevent the mixture from sticking, and form it into walnut-sized balls.
Steam or bake at 350º for 15–20 minutes.