1cuplentils (brown or green)about 180 grams, rinsed and sorted
1cuppotatoes1 medium, peeled and diced
5-6cupswateror low sodium vegetable broth
1cupsmall soup pasta (ditalini, elbow, tubetti, etc)about 125 grams
salt and pepper to taste
extra olive oil for drizzling
2tablespoonsparsley for topping
2tablespoonsgrated cheese for topping
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.
Add the minced garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for 30 seconds. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and continue to saute for about 5 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften.
Add the bay leaves, lentils, water, passata, and diced potatoes.
Bring to a boil, cover slightly, lower heat and simmer for approximately 20-25 minutes or until lentils are almost cooked.
Add the pasta (and if necessary more water) and cook, stirring often, until al dente (time will vary depending on the variety of pasta you use).
Remove bay leaves.
Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle with parsley and cheese.OPTIONAL: a squirt of lemon juice.
Always rinse and sort your lentils to ensure there are no impurities.
The addition of parsley stems is a wonderful flavor enhancer in this dish.
The cooked pasta will absorb a lot of the liquid in this dish, do not be tempted to add more.
If not serving immediately, cook the pasta apart. The next day, or when ready to serve, combine the cooked ingredients in a medium saucepan and gently reheat over low heat.
Variations and substitutions
Brown or green lentils provide the perfect texture for this lentil and pasta recipe. Avoid using red lentils as they quickly break down into a mushy consistency that doesn't work well in this dish!
Use low sodium or homemade vegetable broth instead of water.
Replace the tomato passata with equal amounts of either marinara or tomato sauce. Another great option is to use 3-4 canned or frozen tomatoes. Another alternative is to replace it with 2-3 tablespoons of tomato paste.
You can make this dish completely vegan by using plant-based cheeses or eliminating the parmesan.
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information provided below is just a rough estimate and variations can occur depending on the specific ingredients used.