Good fall food! I know this photo isn't very appetizing, but maybe you'll be brave and give it a try anyway. This recipe is from Bon Appétit, November 1990. I didn't put leeks in and threw in some flower-shaped pasta. Next time I won't put the pasta in. I actually picked it out and I rarely do that. It was pretty good plain, but it was so good topped with sour cream and eaten with Ritz. To make it a vegetarian dish, just add an extra 8 ounces of lentils.
1 lb. ground beef
2 T. vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 leeks (white and pale green parts only), chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
8 oz. lentils
2 (28-oz.) cans crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 c. water
2 T. plus 1 t. chili powder
2 1/2 t. salt
2 t. dried marjoram, crumbled
2 t. dried oregano, crumbled
2 t. dried basil, crumbled
1 t. pepper
1 c. grated Parmesan
Heat heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and cook until beef is brown, crumbling with fork, about 5 minutes. Drain well. Heat oil in heavy 3-quart saucepan over medium-high. Add onion and next 5 ingredients. Sauté until onion is tender, about 8 minutes.
Add beef, lentils and next 8 ingredients to saucepan. Cover and simmer until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 1/2 hours. Stir in Parmesan. Simmer, uncovered, until mixture is thick, about 15 minutes. Serve, passing sour cream separately.
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