ITALIAN: Whole-Wheat Pasta with Lentils, Spinach, and Leeks

June 19, 2008 at 1:11 pm Leave a comment

I found this recipe in a magazine, though I can’t remember which one. Maybe Real Simple or Body & Soul. I adjusted the ingredients a little because I don’t like spinach in large amounts. You can add more spinach if you like. I also soaked the lentils for a few hours before cooking.

2 cups (14 ounces) French green lentils
2 garlic cloves
1 dried bay leaf
1 pound small whole-wheat chiocciole or other small tubular pasta
2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
4 leeks (about 1 3/4 pounds), white and light green parts only, sliced into 1/8-inch rounds, washed well and drained
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces baby spinach, washed

1. In a medium saucepan, combine lentils, 1 whole garlic clove, and the bay leaf. Add enough cold water to cover by two inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until lentils are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain, and discard garlic clove and bay leaf; set the lentils aside.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta; cook until al dente according to package instructions, about seven minutes. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Place pasta in a large bowl.
3. Meanwhile, mince remaining garlic clove. In a large saute pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add minced garlic, leeks, and thyme; cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are soft but not browned, about five minutes. Add cooked lentils and salt; season with pepper.
4. Add spinach and reserved cooking liquid to pan; toss to wilt spinach, about 2 minutes. Pour mixture over pasta, tossing to combine. Serve immediately.

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Entry filed under: Dairy-Free, Italian, Vegan, Vegetarian. Tags: , , , .

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