This is a warming recipe for the winter season.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 15g butter
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 sticks celery, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 200g chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1 red pepper, halved, deseeded and finely diced
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 100g red lentils
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 300ml vegetable stock
- 100g fresh breadcrumbs
- 150g mixed nuts such as walnuts, peacans, hazelnuts and Brazil nuts, roughly chopped
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 100g mature cheddar, grated
- handful flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
For the tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 400ml passata
- Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/Gas 4. Line the base and sides of a 1.5 litre loaf tin with parchment paper.
- Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan and cook the onion and celery for about 5 mins until beginning to soften. Stir in the garlic and mushrooms and cook for a further 10 mins.
- Stir in the red pepper and grated carrot and cook for about 3 mins then add the oregano and paprika and cook for just a minute.
- Add the red lentils and tomato puree and cook for about 1 min, then add the vegetable stock and simmer over a very gentle heat until all the liquid has been absorbed and the mixture is fairly dry. Set aside to cool.
- Finally, stir in the breadcrumbs, nuts, eggs, cheese and parsley and a pinch of salt and some ground black pepper. Stir to mix well then spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and press down the surface . Cover with foil and bake for 20 mins, then remove the foil and bake for a further 10–15 mins until firm when pressed gently.
- Meanwhile, to make the sauce, heat the oil very gently then add the garlic slices and rosemary sprig and heat without colouring. Pour in the passata and add a pinch of salt and some ground black pepper. Simmer gently for just 15 mins.
- Allow the loaf to cool in the tin for about 10 mins then turn out onto a serving board or plate. Remove the baking paper and cut into slices and serve with a little of the tomato sauce.