Lovingly known as pasta e lenticchie (pasta and lentils) in Campania, a region in southern Italy, this is a dish that combines humble ingredient like brown lentils, canned tomatoes, and pasta of any shape or size, and creates something that somehow feels cozy and familiar with your first bite.
½ pound whole-wheat pasta, uncooked
5 cups water
¾ cup uncooked brown lentils
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup canned plum tomatoes, diced and some liquid reserved
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons parsley, minced
1. In a medium saucepan, bring 5 cups of water to a boil, then add the lentils. Cook the lentils, covered, over medium-high heat until they’re nearly but not entirely tender, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a separate pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta al dente.
2. When the lentils are nearly cooked and have absorbed all the water, add the garlic, olive oil, tomatoes, salt, and red pepper flakes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and continue to simmer briskly for another 10 minutes or until the lentils are fully tender. Add the cooked pasta and parsley to the lentils and stir everything to combine.
3. Add additional red pepper flakes (optional) and serve.
Ready in about 35-45 minutes
Makes 4 servings