Pasta with Red Lentils and Artichoke Hearts
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup dry red lentils
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups diced onions
  • 2 large garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cups canned diced tomatoes, drained and liquid reserved
  • 1 1/2 cups artichoke hearts (canned or frozen)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ½ to 1 pound farfalle/bowtie pasta (any shape will do), according to your preferred pasta-to-sauce ratio
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Crumbled feta cheese for garnish
DIRECTIONS
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Combine the water, lentils, and bay leaf, bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes. There will be extra liquid in the pan, which you can drain off if you prefer, but I find that it helps make the sauce more saucy and less dry. If you drain, I recommend saving the liquid to add later if the sauce needs it.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  4. Add oil and sauté onions until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic, cumin, and coriander, stir frequently and cook another minute or so.
  6. Add the lemon juice, tomatoes, lentils, artichoke hearts, and crushed red pepper. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add reserved liquid if sauce seems dry.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Serve pasta topped with sauce. Garnish with feta and black pepper.
RECIPE BACKSTORY
This dish has been a regular on our table for years. It’s from the first cookbook I bought after my husband and I were married. Eating it takes us back to those simpler, quieter times before there were kids. It comes together quickly so it makes a lovely quick weeknight dinner. It’s vegetarian (vegan if you omit the cheese), easily made gluten free by swapping in GF pasta, and loaded with veggies. Although the bowtie pasta is a pleasing visual on the plate, you could use any shape. Or even make this as a stew and omit the pasta altogether if you prefer. --Aly M. --Westerville, OH