Monday, November 17, 2008

red lentil, spinach, and ginger penne

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

Do this:

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.)

11 comments:

Ruth Daniels said...

I love the notion of lentils and pasta together and I can never pass up spinach and ginger. So thanks for the great combo and for sharing it with Presto Pasta Nights.

Abigail said...

Ruth - happy to be a part of PPN! Fun!

Fuji Mama said...

I just happen to have ALL the ingredients for this sitting in my kitchen! Guess what we're having for dinner tonight? Thanks!

Abigail said...

FM - you'll have to let me know how it was!

jan in nagasaki said...

hi, I am Jan, in nagasaki. Thanks for the inspiration... I have that cookbook (it's a big one) so I will get it out and make that pasta for dinner, it looks great!!!

I and my kids love pasta... we will see how they do with lentils in it ...

Abigail said...

Hi Jan! Thanks for visiting Mamatouille...you probably know how expensive red lentils are in Japan so I don't make this often, but when I do, it's fabulous! Hope you and your family enjoy it, too.

Mary said...

Your combinations here are lovely. I'll have to give this one a try in the very near future. I love your blog.

Allergy Mom said...

That does sound like a great combination! I may need to see what happens when I try to sneak some spinach into the Kindergartener...

Abigail said...

Mary - thank you! I just stopped by yours, too, and I love it!

Allergy Mom - thanks for stopping by, and be sure and let me know how your kindgergartner handles the spinach! I can't get my toddler to eat it...he used to, but won't anymore!

Daily Spud said...

I love lentils, spinach and ginger but wouldn't have thought of putting them with pasta (so now I should, right? :) )

Abigail said...

Daily Spud - I know, it's an unusual combo, but it really works! Try it! Let me know how you like it...