To ensure balance, I generally rotate these Sunday Pasta recipes so as to offer a variety of meat, fish, cheese, and vegetable dishes. Of course, these ingredients are each perfect on their own, but can be easily combined. For example, although this week’s vegetarian recipe is simple and delicious, you might find it even tastier if you add a handful of diced pancetta when cooking the vegetables.
That is, of course, unless you’re our friend Bob. You see, Bob is not exactly “normal” in many ways, including his abhorrence of meat. This makes dining out with him great fun, starting with his ten minute discussion with the waiter about whether any meat has touched any vegetable in the kitchen, to the ensuing proclamation that “no suckling pig is coming to this table, period.” Like I said, a really fun dining experience.
Bob recently told me that my Sunday Pasta writing is “drolly ironic,” but that’s only because I have time to edit down from my normal sarcasm. I took that as a compliment, and then went home to look it up in a dictionary. It means “sort of funny.” Thanks Bob! And in appreciation for your left-handed praise, this vegetarian recipe of whole wheat pasta with lentils is dedicated to you. As you can see, I had no time to edit, but I will certainly toast you tonight while dining at Morton’s Steakhouse.
p.s. Check out our wine pairings for this dish.
Soak the lentils in cold water for at least 4 hours. Chop the onions, celery and carrots into a small dice. In a large skillet, over medium heat, saute the vegetables in olive oil. When translucent, add the tomato puree and rosemary, and cook together for a minute or two. Add the lentils, and cook together for a minute or two. Cover with broth, and add salt and pepper. Cook for about 30 minutes, until soft. (Add additional broth or hot water if the liquid evaporates, depending on your taste.)
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente, drain it, and add to the lentils. Mix well together. Serve immediately with a sprinkle of Parmigiano.