Monday, March 18, 2013

linguine alla lentils

a pasta dish that doesn't miss meat
Lately I've been really loving red lentils.  It's so easy to cook and it takes on flavours really well. It is the perfect replacement for ground beef in this pasta sauce; it helps thicken it and clings to the linguine beautifully.  Serve it up with some whole wheat pasta and you'll feel satisfied & full without feeling heavy.

what you need:
  • 1 medium onion (yellow or red, doesn't matter)
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • the rind of Parmesan (about 3x1" is enough)
  • 1 large can of diced tomatoes (san marzano best)
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 handful fresh flat leaf parsley
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish
  • about 1 cup of water
  • whole wheat linguine
what to do:
  1. Prep onions, carrots, and celery but washing, peeling, and dicing into small pieces. Roughly chop garlic.
  2. Rinse dried lentils.  Get spices and other ingredients ready to go.
  3. In a large pot on medium heat, add 2 tbsp olive oil.  Sauté onions, carrots, and celery until softened and lightly browned.  Add garlic and parmesan rind and continue stirring.
  4. Add rinsed lentils, red chilli flakes and oregano.  Stir to avoid burning.  Add canned tomatoes after about a minute or so, water, and bay leaf.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cover and once it all boils, bring to a very low simmer.  
  5. Let it simmer for about 45 minutes but check regularly and stir to avoid the bottom burning.  Add 1/4 cup of water at a time when needed (if the sauce is too dry it will burn easily).
  6. In the meantime, roughly chop parsley and grate Parmesan cheese for garnish.
  7. Cook whole wheat linguine as directed by your package.  
  8. Toss linguine in a large bowl with desired amount of sauce, then plate it up with parsley and parmesan sprinkled on top.  Enjoy!
after 45 min of simmering, thickened and hearty
lentils & veggies provide lots of texture and body


  1. A great meal! Def a keeper. Got "meatier" as it stood for a bit.

  2. Agreed! It's even thicker and "meatier" the next day!