3 tbsp butter (I often use Earth Balance spread, which makes this dish vegan)
1–2 tbsp olive oil
1 2 inch piece of ginger, minced (or ¾ tsp powdered ginger)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp minced sage, or ½ tsp dried sage
¾ cup red lentils
1 cup water (plus extra during cooking as needed)
3–4 cups tightly packed baby spinach
Salt and pepper to taste
Start water for pasta: Begin boiling water for pasta.
Melt butter in a medium pan or skillet, let it start to brown slightly, then sauté garlic and ginger for a couple minutes over medium low heat.
Add the lentils, sage, a bit of salt, cup of water, and a tablespoon of olive oil. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low, cover pan.
Watch the lentils: Check and stir the lentil mixture every few minutes. If the lentil cooking liquid begins to evaporate, add another quarter cup or so of water. The lentils take 10 to 15 minutes to soften…they should be soft but retain their shape as opposed to turning to lentil mush which can happen if you cook too long or too much water.
Start cooking the pasta about 5 minute after you start cooking the lentils. Cook the pasta according to package instructions.
Add the spinach after the lentils have been cooking for about 10 minutes, stirring it in so that it wilts slightly.
Finish the dish: When the pasta is done to your liking, drain and combine the cooked pasta with the lentil mixture and an extra tablespoon of olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy!
The lentils take about 10 to 15 minutes to soften. The lentils should be soft but retain their shape as opposed to turning to lentil mush which can happen if you cook too long or too much water.
I have found the lentils cook faster if you are using a skillet– closer to 10 minutes to soften.
Butter is the only ingredient in this recipe that would be an issue for vegans. Simply substitute dairy free spread such as Earth Balance or olive oil make this dish vegetarian.
Keywords: pasta red lentils, pasta with lentils, penne with red lentils, easy pasta recipes