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+ servings

Vegan Rigatoni with Spicy Sausage Lentils

A rich and filling pan of vegan rigatoni with flavorful "spicy sausage" inspired lentils. This is a balanced plate full of comforting carbs and spices, but with fresh vegetables to keep it fresh and light at the same time.
5 from 3 ratings


  • 1 red onion, minced
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 small sweet pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed in a pestle and mortar*
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp mixed Italian seasoning mix or dried herb mix
  • A few pinches of red pepper or chilli flakes, optional, if you want a bit more heat
  • ½ cup (8 tbsp) tomato paste
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1.5 cups (300 g) cooked lentils**
  • ½ cup (120 ml) white wine
  • 9 oz (250 g) cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 handfuls finely chopped kale, about half of a supermarket bag - 80g or 3oz
  • 12 oz (340 g) dried rigatoni
  • 2 cups (475 ml) pasta cooking water , you won't use all of this but it's worth setting aside a little more than you think you will need
  • 2 handfuls fresh basil


  • Heat a little olive oil in a large pot. Saute your onions and peppers until soft. Add your garlic and cook for just a couple minutes until it is also soft.
  • Add your spices (fennel seeds, Italian seasoning mix, red pepper flakes and smoked paprika) and cook until the fragrance releases, before quickly adding your tomato paste, sugar and lentils. Turn the heat down and continue to cook, stirring continuously, until you have a thick mix of sticky spiced lentils.
  • Add the white wine and simmer until the liquid has reduced a little. Leave on a very low heat and stir regularly while you cook your pasta.
  • Set pasta cooking according to package instructions.
  • Just before the pasta is ready to drain, add the kale and cherry tomatoes to the pot and mix through until the tomatoes are warm and the kale is slightly wilted and bright green.
  • Reserve 2 cups of the cooking liquid and then drain the pasta.
  • Mix the pasta through the lentil sauce and add cooking liquid, a little at a time, until you have a thick and silky, creamy sauce.
  • Add the basil and mix through.
  • Serve.


*You can skip the pestle and mortar if needs be. It's a nice touch, but not a deal breaker.
** If you're cooking the lentils from dried especially for this recipe, you need 1/2 cup dried lentils. You can also use a can of lentils. It's a little less than the recipe calls for, but it doesn't make a big difference.
Serving: 1g, Calories: 387kcal, Carbohydrates: 71g, Protein: 18g, Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 41mg, Fiber: 14g, Sugar: 11g