Do you ever get home and wish there was something easy to cook? And everyone would like it? How about some Pasta with Lentils and Kale?
Back a few weeks ago, Jeff and I saw Gourmet's Pasta 103 Best Loved Recipes at the grocery store. As much as we tell ourselves we aren't going to buy any more magazine (or cookbooks), we always come home with something. I think what caught us was the simplicity of most of the meals. It had great soups, and pastas with cheese, vegetables, sauces, seafood and more. The Pasta with Lentils and Kale was the first dish we flipped to and with two of our (new) favorite ingredients, lentils and kale, we knew this book would be a hit. We always believe that if we buy a magazine or cookbook and make a few of the recipes, it is well worth the purchase. So far, we have made three dishes with another one coming this week.
After both of us having long days at the office, it was nice to come home and have almost everything completed in less than an hour. This recipe can be made vegetarian style. The original recipe called for the lentils to be cooked in water. We like a bit of flavor with our lentils and cooked them in chicken broth.
The dish was delicious. The onions were caramelized and the lentils and kale were a perfect match for the pasta. Jeff and I were enjoying the dish and both agreed that a few pepper flakes would give this dish a nice kick. My middle son, Brian, was home from University of Missouri and proceeded to eat two bowls of the pasta, even though he was going out to dinner. Hopefully, he'll follow these directions and make this dish for his house mates.
This summer we will be planting kale and onions in our back garden. We can't wait to try this dish again with freshly picked ingredients. It should create an amazing summer favorite.
If you are in search of any easy meal or a side dish try this recipe, you won't be disappointed!
Ingredients for Pasta with Lentils and Kale: (Adapted from Gourmet)
1/2 cup of dried green lentils
2 cups of chicken stock
5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
12 ounces of kale, cut and discard center stems, coarsely chop
1 pound of penni, ziti or tubular pasta
1/4 teaspoon of pepper flakes (optional)
salt and pepper
1. Place lentils and chicken broth in a medium pan and over medium heat, uncovered, bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until the lentils are tender but not falling apart. Remove from heat.
2. In a heavy skillet, over medium-high heat, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, heating until it shimmers. Add onions and saute for 1 minute, adding 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.
3. Reduce heat to low and cover, stirring occasionally until the onions are soft and slightly golden, about 20 minutes. Remove lid and increase heat to medium until onions are golden brown about 5-10 minutes.
4. In an 8 quart pot, bring water to boil with 1 teaspoon of salt and cook pasta according to directions. Seven minutes before the pasta is done, add the kale, boiling uncovered until pasta is al dente.
5. Stir lentils, including the liquid, into the onions. If there isn't much liquid, add additional chicken stock (we added about 1/3 cup). Mix together for about 2-3 minutes, scrapping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
6. Before draining the pasta, save 1 cup of the cooking water. Drain pasta and kale, add to lentil and onions.
7. Stir the pasta and kale into the lentil mixture while cooking over medium heat. Toss to mix, adding 1/3 cup of pasta water (or more if needed). After 1 minute, remove pan from heat.
8. Add salt and pepper to taste and drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Serves 4-6 people.