Sunday, May 3, 2009

Pasta with Lentils and Artichoke

For dinner tonight, I went back to my favorite cookbook, Moosewood Low-Fat Favorites. I haven't had a single thing from that cookbook that I haven't enjoyed! I had a can of artichokes on hand, so I flipped to the index and found this recipes using them. I don't think I've ever seen a dish that combined lentils and pasta, so I was intrigued. As I read the ingredient list, I was surprised at the combination of flavors. I was expecting an Italian style dish with the pasta, tomatoes, artichokes, onions and garlic, but then I got to cumin, corriander, lemon, feta... much different that what I expected!
The overall dish, however, was a HUGE success! Though it's a tomato based sauce, the lentils add a creamy texture. The lemon, corriander and cumin brighten up the dish, but aren't over powering. The feta adds a nice bite, but is also very creamy when warmed. Overall this was a seriously delicious meal and Moosewood did not let me down!
Note - the original recipe uses farfalle, but the only short cut pasta I could find that was both organic and whole wheat was fusilli.
Also, I halved the lentils and pasta amounts, but kept the sauce and veggies the same.

Pasta with Lentils and Artichoke
Moosewood Low-Fat Favorites

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 tomatoes (I used 1 15 oz. can organic unsalted diced tomatoes)
1 1/2 cups artichoke hearts (I used 1 15 oz. can whole hearts, halved
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 pound farfalle
salt and pepper to taste

Garnish with crumbled feta cheese

Combine the water, lentils, and bay leaf, bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Bring a pot of water to a boil, add salt and pasta. Cook to al dente.
Heat a large saucepan over medium heat.
Add 1 tbsp. EVOO, saute onions until golden, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic, cumin, and coriander, stir frequently.
Add the lemon juice, tomatoes, artichoke hearts and crushed red pepper and simmer for 10 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add lentils and pasta to the tomato mixture.
Toss, plate and serve with crumbled feta.


Joanne said...

My (very Italian) grandmother loves lentils with pasta so I'm assuming it COULD be italian (minus the feta, cumin, and coriander). I bet the Middle Eastern flavors gave it a good kick though!

Netts Nook said...

Wow that looks like my kind of dish cant wait to give it a try...

Kelly said...

Those flavors sound amazing. I have never seen lentils and pasta together and this looks like an interesting combo.

Victoria said...

Looks great! I'm addicted to putting artichokes in anything and everything!

Elyse said...

This dish is unexpected and fabulous. I adore artichokes. I can't get enough of them. So, I'm super glad to see them featured in this recipe. Oh, and I love lentils. I've never seen them paired with pasta before either. SO glad it turned out so well!

Angie said...

Interesting pairings. Pasta and lentils make sense to me!