I love me some pasta--in any way, shape, or form. It just so happens that this way, with cute little baby red lentils, verdant spinach, and ginger-with-a-kick, is AWESOME, DUDE! (The British hubster, don't ask me why, taught this 80's Valley-kid phrase to our toddler, and now it's flying around here like there's no surfer tomorrow.)
Though I'm not vegetarian, I've never been a big carnivore either, and if you throw a legume-centered meal my way, I'll give you a big kiss. My eyes thank you (beans are adorable, aren't they!), my teeth thank you (I used to chew each bite of meat for ages when I was younger, trying to will it down my throat), and my tummy thanks you.
Don't just look at this extraordinary dish and think, oh wow, that sounds pretty good. TRY IT. NOW.
This comes from one of my favorite cookbooks - Vegetarian Planet, by Didi Emmons.
What you'll need:
1 pound dried penne or other pasta
8 T butter (I ain't lyin'.)
2 large garlic cloves, sliced very thin
1 2-inch piece of ginger, cut into thin julienne strips
1 t minced fresh sage, or 1/2 t crumbled dried sage (I only had powdered sage, so used 1/4 t)
3/4 c red lentils
1 c water
2 c fresh spinach, firmly packed
1 t salt
fresh-ground black pepper to taste
1. Bring a pot of salted water to boiling, cook the pasta (al dente is best in my book), drain it, and rinse it well.
2. Melt all that luscious butter in a large saucepan or skillet (I used a skillet) over medium heat, and when it starts to turn golden with some brown specks (OK, I admit it, I didn't wait that long and it didn't seem to hurt anyone), add the garlic and ginger. Cook for 1 minute, stirring, then add the sage, lentils, and 1 c water. Bring it to a boil, cover the pan, and reduce it to low heat.
3. Let it all simmer for about 10 minutes, until the lentils are pretty much cooked but a little bit chewy, add the spinach and salt, stir, and turn up the heat. Stir until the spinach wilts. Then add the penne and pepper, and heat it all up!
4. Serve. Volley. Pass. Whatever. Just eat it, in the words of Weird Al.
(By the way, this is my first-ever entry for Presto Pasta Nights, hosted this time by Soy and Pepper.)