We both adore pasta and would eat it every day if I didn’t try very hard for us to eat a slightly more well balanced diet. Still, we’ve probably eaten hundreds of vegan pasta dishes over recent years, but this one from the Millennium cookbook is our favourite. That’s a surprise to us because it’s got no fat at all and is one of the most healthy pasta dishes we eat. It’s so tasty and fits the bill whether you want something healthy and reviving or something classy with a nice glass of wine. Don’t be alarmed by the fact that it’s in the Millennium book because it’s not at all time consuming and is one of the quickest and easiest dishes in the book. I’ve tweaked it quite a lot over the years to fit with our greedy bellies and our preference for saucy dishes. It’s now quite different from the original recipe so I feel as if I can share it here.
Serves 2 extremely greedy people
1/2 onion, chopped not too finely
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 large ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped, or 1/2 tin
3/4 cup red lentils
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
2 tsps chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 – 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tbsps lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup spinach or rocket
1 tbsp drained capers
To make the sauce:
Cook the onions, garlic and tomatoes for 10 minutes until the onions are soft and the tomatoes are broken down. Add the lentils, stock , rosemary and chilli flakes and bring to the boil. Turn down heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Stir occasionally in case it sticks- you may need up to 1/2 cup more stock. Meanwhile cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water.
Add the lemon zest and juice and salt to the lentils. Drain the pasta and toss with the lentils, and spinach or rocket. It should wilt slightly but not be fully cooked. Garnish with the capers and parsley and serve on warmed plates.