Lentil, Kale, and Red Onion Pasta

girlandagun 0

"A simple, delicious, and versatile dish that is naturally vegan, but can be easily altered to accommodate both vegan and omnivorous eaters--excellent for family dinners and gathering where there will be people with a variety of food preferences."
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  1. This recipe is derived from a dish originally made by one of my roommates when we were living in a house that was 1/2 vegan and 1/2 omnivorous.
  2. What is great about this recipe is that while it gets several pans dirty, you can do most of the steps simultaneously (a lot of them are just boiling things), and so the dinner can be made very quickly.
  3. The first 2 steps should go on at pretty much the same time:
  4. Bring 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth to a boil, then add lentils and bay leaf. Reduce to simmer, and add 1/2 tsp salt. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes, adding more broth as necessary, if lentils begin to look dry. Remove from heat.
  5. Boil salted water for the kale in a large stock pot, then add kale. Do not overcook the kale! It should be softer without being completely limp. You want to keep the water the kale has been cooked in at a boil, so after 7 minutes or so, remove the kale with a pair of tongs and put it in a bowl of ice-water, to stop the cooking immediately. Keep the water the kale had been cooking in at a boil, it should now be a lovely dark-green broth.
  6. Boil pasta and a dash of olive oil in the kale both using box directions for al dente. Remove about a cup of the kale broth and put it in a separate bowl, then drain pasta in a colander. Cover to keep hot.
  7. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large frying pan or skillet with high edges over moderate heat, then sauté the chopped red onion with 1/2 tsp salt, pepper and thyme, stirring, for 1 minute. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are beginning to soften but have not lost their rich red-purple color, about 10 minutes.
  8. Add kale to the onions, and then lentils. Heat, stirring, 1 minute, and add a little more salt and pepper. Add pasta to onions, lentils, and kale. Add as much of the kale cooking liquid as you like--the dish can be slightly more soupy, or drier, depending on taste. Cook for one last minute over high heat, stirring.
  9. Optional preparation methods:
  10. Cook sausage in a separate shallow pan at the last stage, and add to the dishes of those who want it.
  11. Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast makes an excellent topping to this dish.

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