This vegan Gigli pasta with red lentil sauce is a nutritious and satisfying dish that is easy to make. The sauce is made with rehydrated mushrooms, lentils, onion, carrot, celery, and miso for added flavor. It is simmered with marinara sauce and seasoned to taste. Serve the sauce over cooked Gigli pasta for a delicious and comforting meal.
This recipe can be customized with additional vegetables and herbs, and it can be made gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta. The sauce can also be made ahead of time or frozen for future use. Enjoy this flavorful and nourishing dish!
- Dried mushrooms: These add a rich umami flavor to the sauce. You can use any variety of dried mushrooms, such as porcini or shiitake.
- Lentils: Red lentils are used to make the sauce. They cook quickly and have a creamy texture when cooked, making them perfect for sauces.
- Onion, carrot, and celery: These aromatic vegetables form the base of the sauce, adding depth of flavor and nutrients.
- Miso: Miso paste adds a savory and slightly salty taste to the sauce. It's a traditional Japanese ingredient that enhances the umami flavors.
- Marinara sauce: Use your favorite store-bought marinara sauce or make your own. Look for a vegan option if you prefer.
- Gigli pasta: Gigli pasta, also known as "lily flower" pasta, is a beautiful and unique shape that holds the sauce well. You can substitute it with any other pasta shape you prefer.
- Seasonings: Feel free to add your favorite seasonings, such as garlic powder, dried herbs (like oregano or basil), or red pepper flakes for a bit of heat.
See recipe card for quantities.
Saute aromatics and your mirepoix. Mire poix is just a fancier term for celery, onion and carrots.
This is optional, you can only use onions if that's what you have on hand
Spice and season it up as you please, I got herb de Provence and some spice mix. Get creative with your seasonings.
I got a lot of dried mushrooms, so I added them in for that extra flavorful broth
Add stock or water
Add miso- it really levels up the flavor of any dish.
Simmer till fully cooked. This can be enjoyed on its own as a comforting stew.
Level up the heartiness by serving it on your favorite pasta. In this case, Gigli.
Hint: leave a useful hint here, like let the grill run for 4-5 minutes to burn off any remnants, then clean it. I like to use this dutch oven for superb results.
- Lentils: If you don't have red lentils, you can use green or brown lentils instead. Keep in mind that the cooking time may vary, so adjust accordingly.
- Pasta: If Gigli pasta is not available, you can substitute it with any other pasta shape you prefer, such as penne, fusilli, or spaghetti.
- Miso: If you don't have miso paste, you can omit it or substitute it with soy sauce or tamari for a similar umami flavor.
- Add vegetables: Feel free to add more vegetables to the sauce, such as diced bell peppers, zucchini, or spinach. Sauté them along with the onion, carrot, and celery.
- Creamy sauce: If you prefer a creamier sauce, you can blend a portion of the cooked lentils with a bit of plant-based milk or cream alternative until smooth. Stir this mixture back into the sauce for a creamy texture.
- Fresh herbs: Add a handful of fresh herbs, such as basil or parsley, to the sauce just before serving for an extra burst of freshness.
- Spicy - add chili pepper flakes while cooking to imbue heat into the dish, or banana peppers
- Deluxe - add truffle oil, crispy onions or microgreens
- Kid friendly - add crushed potato chips (ketchup chips!) make sure it's vegan
Equipment can have a big impact on how a recipe turns out. Cast iron takes longer to heat up than metal pans, and also retain heat for longer, which could make the recipe more watery, or burnt on the outsides.
Recommended Dutch oven 👉affiliate link to purchase the equipment.
To store the vegan Gigli pasta with red lentil sauce, follow these guidelines:
- Refrigerator: Allow the sauce to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. When ready to use, reheat the sauce on the stovetop until heated through.
- Freezer: If you want to store the sauce for a longer period, you can freeze it. Allow the sauce to cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container or freezer bags. Make sure to leave some space at the top for expansion. Label the container with the date and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw the sauce in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
When reheating the sauce, you may need to add a splash of water or vegetable broth to adjust the consistency, as the sauce may thicken slightly during storage. Ensure that the sauce is heated thoroughly before serving.
It's important to note that cooked pasta does not freeze well, so it's best to cook the pasta fresh when you're ready to serve the dish.
Here are some pro tips to enhance your experience with the vegan Gigli pasta with red lentil sauce:
- Soak the dried mushrooms in hot water for at least 15-20 minutes to ensure they become soft and rehydrated properly. This will help release their flavors and add depth to the sauce.
- Rinse the lentils before adding them to the sauce. This helps remove any debris or impurities and ensures a clean and delicious final dish.
- Use a high-quality marinara sauce or make your own for the best flavor. Look for one that is rich and well-seasoned to enhance the overall taste of the sauce.
- Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. The amount of miso paste and additional seasonings may vary depending on personal preference and the flavors of the marinara sauce. Start with a small amount and gradually add more to achieve the desired taste.
- Cook the pasta al dente, which means it should still have a slight bite to it. This will prevent the pasta from becoming mushy when combined with the sauce.
- Garnish the dish with fresh herbs, such as parsley or basil, just before serving. This adds a pop of freshness and elevates the presentation of the dish.
- Feel free to experiment with different vegetables and herbs to customize the sauce to your liking. Add diced bell peppers, zucchini, or spinach for extra nutrition and flavor.
- If you prefer a creamier sauce, blend a portion of the cooked lentils with a bit of plant-based milk or cream alternative until smooth. Stir this mixture back into the sauce for a creamy texture.
- Serve the pasta and sauce together, allowing the pasta to soak up the flavors of the sauce. This ensures a cohesive and delicious dish.
- Enjoy the meal mindfully, savoring each bite and appreciating the flavors and textures. The kitchen can be a place of peace and nourishment, so take the time to fully enjoy the experience of cooking and eating this delicious vegan pasta dish.
A: Yes, you can make this recipe gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta instead of Gigli pasta. Ensure that all other ingredients, such as the marinara sauce and miso paste, are also gluten-free.
A: Yes, you can make the red lentil sauce ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. When ready to serve, simply reheat the sauce and cook the pasta fresh.
A: Yes, the red lentil sauce can be frozen for up to 3 months. Allow it to cool completely before transferring it to a freezer-safe container. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat on the stovetop before serving.
A: If you want to add more protein, you can incorporate cooked chickpeas, tofu, or tempeh into the sauce. Simply sauté them separately and add them to the sauce when it's almost done cooking.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Gigli Pasta With Lentils
- - 1 cup dried mushrooms
- - 1 cup red lentils
- - 1 onion diced
- - 1 carrot diced
- - 1 celery stalk diced
- - 2 tablespoons miso paste
- - 2 cups marinara sauce
- - 8 ounces Gigli pasta
- - Seasonings garlic powder, dried herbs, red pepper flakes to taste
- - Fresh herbs parsley or basil for garnish (optional)
- Start by rehydrating the dried mushrooms. Place them in a bowl and cover with hot water. Let them soak for about 15-20 minutes until they become soft. Once rehydrated, drain and chop them into small pieces.
- In a large pot, heat some oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion, carrot, and celery, and sauté until they become tender and slightly golden.
- Add the chopped rehydrated mushrooms to the pot and cook for a few minutes to enhance their flavors.
- Rinse the red lentils under cold water to remove any debris. Add them to the pot along with the miso paste. Stir well to combine.
- Pour in the marinara sauce and add your preferred seasonings (garlic powder, dried herbs, red pepper flakes). Stir everything together and bring the sauce to a simmer.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the sauce cook for about 20-25 minutes, or until the lentils are tender and the flavors have melded together. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
- While the sauce is simmering, cook the Gigli pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain the cooked pasta and set it aside.
- Once the lentil sauce is ready, taste and adjust the seasonings if needed. If the sauce is too thick, you can add a splash of water or vegetable broth to thin it out.
- Serve the cooked Gigli pasta with a generous ladle of the red lentil sauce on top. Garnish with fresh herbs, such as parsley or basil, if desired.
- Enjoy your vegan Gigli pasta with red lentil sauce! Feel free to customize the recipe by adding your favorite vegetables or herbs to make it your own.