This filling and nourishing pasta dish needs little else to make a complete meal. You need only serve a big green salad and a steamed green vegetable such as broccoli or green beans to make a satisfying for eaters of all ages. If you want a little something extra for big appetites, garlic bread is wonderful with this.
Total Fat 6 g
Protein 15 g
Dietary Fiber 10 g
Total Carbs 60 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 636 mg
Sugars 0 g
|¾||cup raw brown or green lentils|
|8 to 10||ounces penne, ziti, or other short, chunky pasta|
|2||tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil|
|1||medium onion, chopped|
|3 to 4||cloves garlic, minced|
|1||medium green bell pepper, diced|
|1||cup sliced white or cremini mushrooms, optional|
|10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and lightly drained|
|28-ounce jar good-quality marinara sauce|
|Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste|
Rinse and sort the lentils and combine them in a small saucepan with 1½ cups water. Slowly bring to a simmer, then simmer very gently, covered, for 30 to 40 minutes, until they are tender but still hold their shape. Drain any excess water. This step can be done ahead of time.
Cook the pasta in plenty of steadily boiling water until al dente, then drain.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté over medium-low heat until the onion is translucent. Add the bell pepper and optional mushrooms continue to sauté until the onion is golden.
Stir in the cooked lentils, spinach, and marinara sauce. Slowly bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer gently, for 10 minutes.
Combine the lentil sauce with the cooked pasta in a large serving container and toss together thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper and serve.