If you are using dry lentils, start by cooking these off. Ideally, you want to leave the lentils to soak for an hour or two before cooking them. Place the lentils into a saucepan of water, bring to the boil, then leave to simmer for around 20 minutes.
Start cooking the pasta around 10 minutes after the lentils first went on. Place your spaghetti into a separate saucepan of water, bring to the boil and then leave to simmer on a low heat.
We often find that spaghetti takes less time to cook than fusilli or penne. Handy Tip: Slow the cooking time of your pasta by adding extra cold water and/or lowering the heat.
Next, chop your vegetables. Dice the red onion, carrot and mushrooms into small chunks and the garlic into tiny pieces.
Add a little olive oil or water to a pan with the diced onions, thyme, oregano, garlic and tomato paste. Add the balsamic vinegar and red wine, and cook for a couple of minutes on a high heat, stirring occasionally.
Lower the heat to medium and add the carrots. Cook for around 5 minutes, adding a splash of water to your pan if needed to avoid sticking.
Blend your pumpkin into a puree. Then add the pumpkin, mushrooms and chopped tomatoes to your pan. Stir well and leave to simmer on a low heat for 5-10 minutes.
Drain the red lentils and add them to your sauce, stirring well and keeping the heat low. Leave to simmer for another 3 minutes.
Drain the pasta. Add the fresh basil leaves to the top of your sauce and remove from the hob. Serve with nutritional yeast, a great vegan ‘cheese’ alternative.