Thursday, June 11, 2009

Provencal Pasta with Lentils and Capers

Blame this latest inspiration on my having a ratatouille crepe this week, but I decided to add some French flair to my own fave comfort food dish- pasta! With French puy lentils (this variety best holds its shape as it cooks) and typical Medi-Franco flavors, this hearty pasta packs in some protein as well as a lot of taste! If you need to save time, you can use canned lentils, but because I wanted the lentils to cook with the herbs I added, I soaked and cooked dried lentils- which, of all the beans you could be using, don't take very long to cook. Now if only my computer could type the cedilla c, this post would be complete! Bon appetit!

The Whats:

* 1 cup dried green puy lentils
* leaves of 1/2 sprig of rosemary
* 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
* 1/2 lemon
* 3 tbsp. herbs de provence seasoning
* 4 tbsp. olive oil
* 4 tbsp. white wine
* salt & pepper
* 1 box whole wheat pasta, preferably spaghetti or linguine
* 1 small jar (3 oz.) capers, drained

The Hows:

1) In a large saucepan, soak one cup of dried green lentils in 4 cups of hot (but not boiling) water. Allow lentils to soak for one hour.

2) Drain water from saucepan. Rinse lentils and drain. Cover lentils with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Cook lentils for 15 to 20 minutes, until water is mostly absorbed. Add 3/4 cup to 1 cup veggie broth and several rosemary sprigs, adding until you achieve your desired flavor. Continue cooking for another 15 minutes or until veggie broth is absorbed and lentils are soft. Add 1 tbsp each of olive oil, white wine, and herbs de provence. Stir until combined.

3) Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add whole wheat linguine to the pot, and cook until al dente, about 12 to 15 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water. Drain pasta.

4) As pasta drains in colander, mix the remaining olive oil and white wine with the pasta cooking water. Pour about half of the mix into the pasta pot. Add half the cooked lentils and gently stir in the liquid- lentils should not be clumped together. Add half the cooked pasta from the colander; add more liquid, then lentils, then remaining pasta. Add remaining herbs de provence, juice from half the lemon, salt and pepper, and capers and toss pasta until coated and lentils and capers are distributed.

Top with piave vecchio and serve hot. Serves 4 to 5.


Monique said...

I'd like to suggest you try this pasta recipe with Al Dente Whole Wheat Fettuccine. I think it's meant to be. Al Dente Pasta cooks in just 3 minutes, has a great, fresh, homemade texture and I'm French!

Monique said...

P.S. check out our blog www.aldentecanoodler. I'd be happy to send you a bag to try.

Rachel said...

Mmmmm looks so good! My husband always jokes that adding capers to any meal makes it "gourmet" capers + lentils sounds like a delish pairing!!
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