Monday, May 21, 2012

while the pasta cooks...

Sunday is usually pasta night.  I don't often go to the grocery store on the weekends, and by the time Sunday comes along, I am, to be honest, just plain lazy.  To provide for these lazies (or to satisfy a hankering for yummy soup), I always try to keep at least two 14 oz cans of diced tomatoes, several cans of beans, and a variety of lentils in my cupboard.

Last night was no exception.  And with two sick children, I really didn't want to spend a lot of time on this.  I used red lentils because they cook up a lot quicker than either brown or green.  And truth be told, I am always looking for an excuse to use them.  Aside from the fact that they are full of protein, fiber, folate, iron, blah blah blah, they are such a beautiful orange, and so delicate; I really love sticking my hand in the bag and letting them run through my fingers... 

Lazy Sunday Lentil Pasta

whole wheat pasta, 1/2 box
2 tbs olive oil
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
large handful (about 1/3 cup) red lentils
few sprigs of thyme, leaves stripped from the stems
few springs of oregano, roughly chopped
handful of basil leaves, roughly chopped
handful of baby spinach, roughly chopped

Bring a pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions, or to taste.

While the pasta cooks, heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  Add garlic, and cook for a couple of minutes, or until it just starts to get toasty.  Dump in the tomatoes all at once, and stir until it all quiets down.  Reduce heat to low.
Put some water (about 1/4 full) into the tomato can, give it a swirl, and pour it into the pan.  Add the lentils, thyme, oregano, and basil.  Cook, covered, for about 10 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. 
Take off heat, add the spinach, replace the lid, and let sit for a few minutes to let the spinach wilt.
Season with salt and pepper and serve! 

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