Usually, I finely grate or dice most of the vegetables, but in this version I have added them in cooked puree form. This naturally increases the volume of vegetables used and also thickens the sauce up nicely. The puree red capsicum adds real depth to the flavour and in conjunction with the red lentils, it boosts the antioxidant content of the meal. But make sure you add the lentils early on with enough liquid to allow them to simmer long enough to soften and dissociate.
Don't worry about the anchovies giving the dish a fishy flavour. You won't be able to taste them. However, they are a great way of adding salt to the dish as well as a few omega-3's. Italian dishes often list anchovies as a seasoning in recipes.
Fresh chopped basil
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan
Saute onion and garlic, then add mince to brown
Add tomatoes, purees, sauces, sugar, herbs, and red lentils. You may also need to add a little extra water at this point to make sure the lentils are covered.
Bring to simmer then add remaining vegetables
Simmer gently, stirring occasionally until lentils soften and begin to break up. Continue simmering until sauce thickens to desired consistency.
Season with cracked black pepper and salt to taste
Stir through a handful of fresh chopped basil and serve on fresh linguine topped with grated parmesan