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Smoky lentil carbonara

Smoky lentil carbonara - with tasty sun-dried tomatoes and puy lentils. An easy, vegetarian version of a spaghetti carbonara!

I’m a big, big fan of ridiculously quick pasta recipes – pasta is always my go to dinner when I’m pushed for time. If the sauce can be made in the time the pasta takes to cook, it’s a winner. This smoky lentil carbonara ticks all the boxes – it’s quick to make, doesn’t require much prep or chopping, and tastes deeelish.

Smoky lentil carbonara - with tasty sun-dried tomatoes and puy lentils. An easy, vegetarian version of a spaghetti carbonara!

Before anyone tells me off, I am well aware that this isn’t a true carbonara. Spaghetti carbonara is usually made with bacon and eggs, and this smoky lentil carbonara has neither. But it’s definitely inspired by the traditional dish – the sun-dried tomatoes and smoked paprika replace the smoky pancetta, and a dollop of creme fraiche and some hard cheese are used to make the creamy sauce instead of raw eggs. It’s an easy alternative that’s less likely to go wrong if you’re not an experienced cook (I’m always somewhat afraid that I’ll end up with scrambled eggs in my carbonara…).

Smoky lentil carbonara - with tasty sun-dried tomatoes and puy lentils. An easy, vegetarian version of a spaghetti carbonara!

I used a sachet of pre-cooked puy lentils to keep this recipe quick and light on the prep. They’re readily available in the UK (in fact they’re much easier to find than dried puy lentils, weirdly), but if you’re in a country where you can’t find them, just cook your puy lentils from scratch instead. Boil them up in some veggie stock with a bay leaf, and they’ll be really tasty.

Then you just need to sprinkle a little more cheese over the top, and serve it with some crusty garlic bread and a big salad (and maybe a glass of wine or seven).

Smoky lentil carbonara - with tasty sun-dried tomatoes and puy lentils. An easy, vegetarian version of a spaghetti carbonara!

What’s your go to quick dinner? With a newborn baby in tow, I’m in need of some more quick ideas!

Smoky lentil carbonara - with tasty sun-dried tomatoes and puy lentils. An easy, vegetarian version of a spaghetti carbonara!

Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Smoky lentil carbonara

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Servings: 3 people
Calories:
Author: Becca Heyes

Ingredients

  • 220 g (~ 7 1/2 oz) spaghetti
  • 3 tbsp creme fraiche
  • 60 g gruyere cheese (or vegetarian parmesan-style cheese), finely grated (~ 1 cup when grated)
  • 4 large pieces sun-dried tomato, finely chopped
  • 150 g (~ 3/4 cup) cooked puy lentils
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 3 tbsp water (you can use the pasta cooking water)
  • Fresh basil, chopped, to serve (optional)

Instructions

  • Boil the spaghetti in plenty of water until almost cooked, then drain.
  • Add the creme fraiche and grated cheese to the pasta over a low heat, along with the chopped sun-dried tomatoes, cooked puy lentils, and smoked paprika. Season with plenty of salt and pepper, and stir gently until the creme fraiche and cheese have melted to give a silky sauce. You can add a dash of water if you feel it's necessary.
  • Serve topped with fresh basil, if desired.

Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose.

Love super quick dinners? Here are a ton more quick dinner ideas!

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Recipe Rating




Janine Davies

Thursday 7th of September 2017

Absolutely delicious! I used tagliatelle and a bit extra creme fraiche. I will make it again and will throw some mushrooms in too. Thank you

Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche

Friday 8th of September 2017

Thanks Janine, glad you enjoyed it! I'm always up for extra veg :D

johanna @ green gourmet giraffe

Tuesday 5th of September 2017

That looks really good - I love lentils and pasta (in fact this is much nicer than a trad carbonara).

Congrats on the baby (such a cute name for her) and good luck with finding some quick meals - I find noodles and veg are some of my quickest options - this lo mein is great - http://gggiraffe.blogspot.com/2016/05/lo-mein-easy-vegie-noodles.html - and I made miso soup with lots of vegies and noodles and preseasoned tofu because this week is a little crazy.

Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche

Tuesday 5th of September 2017

Thanks Johanna! Your lo mein looks perfect :)

Jacqueline Meldrum

Monday 4th of September 2017

I've featured your recipe in this week's Meat Free Mondays and shared it :)

Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche

Tuesday 5th of September 2017

Yay thanks Jac!

Jenny

Tuesday 29th of August 2017

The whole family had this for dinner last night. So simple but soooo tasty! Thanks.

Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche

Thursday 31st of August 2017

Awesome! So glad you all enjoyed it :D

Rachel

Saturday 26th of August 2017

Just made this for dinner. It is so delicious! Thank you Becca for another amazing recipe xx

Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche

Sunday 27th of August 2017

Woop! Glad you enjoyed it, thanks Rachel :)

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