Rustic Lentil Spaghetti
You can never go wrong with lentils. Not only do they taste good, they are good for you as well. Lentils are a type of legume that is rich in iron, potassium, and magnesium. They are also relatively low in calories and high in fiber. And we all know the importance of fiber!
I found this delightfully easy recipe at the New York Times under recipes for health. It is full of fresh and savory vegetables with flavors of middle eastern cuisine. It’s definitely a nice twist to spaghetti! You can either use canned lentils or dried lentils, depending on your time and budget. The nice thing about dried lentils is that they are so affordable and will keep in your pantry forever. Canned lentils are bit more pricy but are great in a time-crunch because they have already been cooked. Next time I prepare this pasta, I will double the amount of lentils I used because they are so good. In fact, when we ate the leftovers, I added another can!
1 can brown or green lentils, or more (1 can is about 1 cup rinsed)
1 medium size zucchini, diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 medium size onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
1 teaspoon salt
1 package of spaghetti
Cut and prepare all of the vegetables and cilantro ahead of time, as this will make your life much easier! In a large saucepan, boil water and prepare pasta according to package directions.
While the pasta is cooking, start on the veggies. In a large skillet, heat olive oil and the onion over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes. Add the chopped bell pepper, minced garlic, cumin, salt, and red pepper flakes and cook for another 5 minutes. Add zucchini and cook until tender. Just when the spaghetti is about finished, add the rinsed lentils and cherry tomatoes to the veggie mix, stirring gently.
Drain the pasta and gently add and mix the vegetables in the large saucepan. Stir in the cilantro and season with more salt to taste. Enjoy!