Rinse the lentils under cold water. Tip into a pan. Add 250ml cold water. Cover. Bring to the boil. Skim off any froth that rises to the top. Simmer for 15 mins till the lentils are soft and they’ve soaked up the water.
While the lentils cook, peel and finely chop the onion. Peel and grate or crush 1 clove of garlic. Trim, peel and finely chop the carrots. Rinse the parsley. Finely chop the stalks and the leaves – keep them separate. Fill and boil the kettle.
Add 1 tbsp olive oil to a frying pan. Add the onion and carrots. Season. Cover. Cook on low heat for 10-15 mins. Stir every now and then till the veg are soft. Stir in 1 of the crushed garlic cloves and the parsley stalks. Cook and stir for 2-3 mins.
Take the carrots off the heat and mash them a little with a fork or masher. Stir in the cooked lentils and parsley stalks. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Put the mix to one side for 10 mins to cool, then shape into 8-10 balls.
While the lentils cool, tear the leaves off the lettuce. Rinse and pat dry with kitchen paper or use a salad spinner. Tear into smaller pieces. Pop in a bowl. Whisk the balsamic vinegar with 1 tbsp olive oil and some seasoning. Drizzle over the lettuce.
Fill a clean pan with hot water from the kettle. Add a pinch of salt. Cover. Bring to the boil. When the water is boiling, add the spaghetti. Simmer for about 8 mins till cooked.
Wipe the frying pan clean. Add 1 tbsp olive oil. Add the carrot and lentil balls. Fry over a low heat for 8-10 mins. Turn them over every so often till they are golden on both sides. Drain the pasta, keeping a little of the pasta water.
Mix together the remaining garlic, parsley leaves, 2 tbsp pasta water, a pinch of chilli flakes (optional) and some seasoning. Tip the pasta back into its pan. Add the spice mix. Toss. Serve the pasta with the carrot and lentil balls and the salad.