Friday, April 27, 2007
Vegetarian Planet Pasta
Another pasta winner! One of my favorite cookbooks is Didi Emmons' "Vegetarian Planet" (Boston: Harvard Common Press, 1997). I've had lots of successes with her boldly flavored, but fairly simple to prepare dishes, and this pasta recipe is just wonderful. It's a delicately nutty-tasting, very healthy, beautiful-looking recipe and I am delighted to share it with you. Be careful to keep heat low to medium while lightly browning the garlic and ginger as you want to keep the taste delicate.
I do have a hardcover copy of this cookbook in stock at our bookshop, if anyone is interested. There are 349 other fantastic recipes in this book to explore.
PASTA WITH BABY RED LENTILS AND GINGER
1 lb. gluten-free pasta (Emmons recommends penne)
8 Tbsp. butter
2 large garlic cloves, sliced very thin (I always add more garlic for our taste)
1 2-inch piece of ginger, cut into thin julienne strips
1 tsp. minced fresh sage or 1/2 tsp. crumbled dried sage
3/4 cup baby red lentils (I got them at my health food store)
1 cup water
2 cups fresh spinach, firmly packed (I've used frozen spinach in a pinch)
1 tsp. salt
Fresh-ground black pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop the pasta into the water, stir, and cook the pasta, stirring occasionally, until it is just tender. Drain it, and rinse it well.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan or skillet over medium heat. When the butter begins to turn golden with some brown specks, add the garlic and ginger. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Then add the sage, the lentils, and the 1 cup water. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover the pan, and reduce the heat to low.
Let the lentils simmer for 10 minutes or until they are tender but still slightly chewy (if the lentils are large they may need more time and more water). Stir the spinach and salt into the lentils, and turn the heat up a bit. Stir often until the spinach wilts, about 1 minute. Then add the cooked pasta and pepper to taste, and heat the mixture through. Serve immediately.
Serves 4 to 6.