Beluga lentils are perfect for this dish as they hold their shape nicely when cooked. Puy lentils would also work here but I would avoid a less robust lentil which might not hold up as well.
1 small onion
2 small carrots
½ stick celery
1 small red pepper
1 large or two small garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated
1 sprig fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 small glass of red wine (optional)
250g beluga lentils, rinsed in cold water
600g tinned chopped tomatoes
1 ½ vegetable stock cube
About 800ml water
Red wine vinegar
Honey or sugar to taste
Salt and pepper
Chop the vegetables into small, equal sized pieces then place in a pan with a good glug of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper then cook gently for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid the vegetables sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Stir in the garlic and cook out for a minute or so before adding the rosemary and tomato paste. Mix well then add the red wine, lentils, tinned tomatoes, vegetable stock cubes and water. Bring to a boil making sure there is enough water to cook the lentils as they will absorb liquor as they cook (you can always reduce the sauce later on).
Lower the heat to a low setting then cover with a lid and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes. Remove the lid then check the lentils, making sure they have softened and cooked. At this stage you can increase the heat to reduce the sauce if needs be.
Add a dash of red wine vinegar and then about half a teaspoon of sugar. Check the seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, sugar or salt if needs be. Top with Parmesan and serve with pasta or garlic bread.