Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lentil & Pasta Recipe

I've been trying to eat more lentils, quinoa, and cous-cous, but I still find myself pulled toward pastas, breads, and pizzas.

Recently, I found a recipe that combines the best of both worlds!

Fusilli with Lentils, Feta, and Cilantro

  • 1 cup brown or green (not red) lentils
  • 2-3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 c. finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 c. finely chopped carrot
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 c. broth
  • 1 lb. shell pasta
  • 1/2 lb. feta cheese
  • 1/4 c. chopped cilantro

  1. Sort and rinse lentils (I punch slits in an old yogurt container to make a strainer that is fine enough for lentils.)
  2. Place in a medium saucepan and cover with water.
  3. Bring water to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook until tender (~35 minutes).
  4. In a heavy saute pan, heat the olive oil; saute onions and carrot over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add bell peppers and stir to blend. Add broth, salt, and pepper to taste. Add lots of coarsely ground pepper. Simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes.
  5. Cook pasta. Add lentil mixture and toss gently. Pour onion and pepper mixture over the top and toss to combine.
  6. Top each portion with crumbled feta and chopped cilantro.

It's delicious! The next time we make it, I'm going to cook the lentils in the broth for added flavor and simply saute the onions, carrots, and bell peppers for a few minutes instead of simmering them for 20 minutes. The original recipe tastes great, but I like my onions more sauted rather than boiled to a mush. Also, I think this modification will shorten the prep time.

I'm looking forward to trying it again! (P.S. In my opinion, the cheese and cilantro MAKE this dish. The recipe also says you could use gorgonzola and basil...)

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Rachel said...

My favorite lentil dish of late is Mojadra. It's a super simple Indian dish: lentils, brown rice, and caramelized onions. YUM!

Moxie said...

Going with the theme, "the best of both worlds", lentils are really great in a Bolognese-style pasta sauce, instead of the meat. You can cook them and add to can/jar pasta sauce, or use them when making your own sauce from scratch. I like to also add tiny cubes of carrot, which add to the texture while adding a slightly sweet dimension to the sauce, too.

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