Thursday, January 8, 2009

Spaghetti with Spicy Lentils

Is this week over yet?? I know I shouldn't be complaining because I had a short week, but still... How are you coming along with your resolutions/goals? Well I am making good headway into my 101 in 1001. In fact, I completed one of my goals two days ago so I made another (similar goal) and set the bar higher! I am actually still finishing my list. It can be kind of difficult to come up with that many concrete goals. As I mentioned yesterday, I have been cooking some lighter fare to kind of make up for all of that holiday indulgence. I don't believe in diets, but I do think it is important to find light, healthy meals that don't sacrifice flavor. This dish is the epitome of that. I recently found it on Andrea's fabulous Cooking Books site and I was going to do it last week, but at the last minute, the carrot found it's way to the pork tenderloin and roasted carrots and parsnips. I scaled down the recipe a bit, but left some of the original components like the full 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. If spicy isn't your thing, just reduce the amount. Also, my carrots were on the small side so I used two, but you may find one is enough. This was so easy to prepare and really delicious. Plus, I loved the savory smell it gave my apartment. This recipe proves that you can have a light and healthy and yet hearty meal that still tastes delicious.

Spaghetti with Spicy Lentils
(Adapted from Cooking Books)

Olive oil
1/2 bulb fennel, chopped
1-2 carrots (depending on the size), peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 heaping cup dry lentils
8 ounces whole wheat spaghetti

Heat some olive oil in a 12" skillet and add the fennel, carrot, onion, garlic, salt and red pepper. Sauté the vegetables for 15-20 minutes, until they're soft.

Add the paprika and toss to coat the veggies. Cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Add the lentils and 2 1/2 cups of water. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for around 20 minutes, until the lentils are soft but not falling apart.

Cook the pasta separately, until it is still quite firm.

Drain the pasta and add it to the lentil sauce. Toss for 1 or 2 more minutes until pasta is cooked to al dente. Serve

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Erica said...

I am so obsessed with light pastas right now! This one sounds great! I love that it is a little spicy (love red pep!). My thoughts on diets are everything in moderation with exercise is best but I think people have to do what works for them! Yayy for tomorrow being Friday. Whatcha up to this weekend?

Chef E said...

I love this idea using the lentils as opposed to a beefy sauce...I also am trying to really scaled down for me and the hubby...Thanks!

Diana said...

I'm right with you on the no-diets page! This dish looks like the perfect way to lighten up after the holidays though, and I'm a big fan of lentils. Do you think I could add in a tomato to the mix to give it a little bit of liquid?

Esi said...

Erica, I agree, everything in moderation...I should practice what I preach (tee hee). I'm not up to much this weekend since it is my only free weekend of the month. Gonna lay low and relax before the craziness begins!

Chef E, you are welcome and thanks for coming by!

Diana, I think tomatoes would go really well here. You can't tell in the picture, but the water does create a bit of a sauce too so you may want to go easy on the liquid.

Dawn said...

this is a healthier alternative to beef and you still get the protein. what a great idea! Hmmm

Andrea said...

Yeah! I'm so glad you liked it. I made two pasta dishes with beans, and I think this might have been the one where I dumped all the leftovers on the flour. It was very sad. Your picture is beautiful!

♥Reeni said...

I'm not into the dieting either but am a believer in making things healthier. This looks tasty and delicious! I am making a lightened up version of pasta tonight, too.

Joie de vivre said...

These do look healthy. Good for you for sticking to your goals!

Dee said...

It's great that your actively working at your goals. I don't make resolutions anymore, I make these To Do lists. Sounds silly, but it works for me :)

I love light pastas too. I make a spaghetti with julienned zuchini and almond slivers that's just to die for.

Sara said...

I love pasta and paprika but I never combine them. I am going to have to try this.

lborg said...

That recipe looks great ... makes me want to eat some pasta even though I just ate! haha : )

ttfn300 said...

i've been meaning to try something like this!

Hayley said...

I love lentils, and I need to cook them more. Nice post!

Heather said...

yumm!! what a creative idea. i love the spicy lentils!

recipes2share said...

Pasta really hits the spot in this chilly weather & what a delightful combination!

Foodista said...

I think this will be a hit when I make it this weekend! Im a big pasta lover, I'd like to invite you to take some time to drop by at Foodista and share your delicious recipe with us. We have launched an online food and cooking encyclopedia ala wikipedia. Add a recipe and you can win a $100 gift card to Sur la table. Don't forget to register first so we know who to thank the recipe for. Thanks!

Summer said...

This sounds great! I love lentils.

Kevin said...

I like the sound of lentils on pasta!

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

Lentils are so meaty and earthy -- and filling! Perfect criterion for light pastas.

Looks yummy!