Penne with Lentil Ragu
With their rich, earthy flavor and tender texture, protein-rich lentils make an excellent substitute for meat in this simple, quick-cooking pasta dish. Serve with a salad for a complete meal that's both satisfying and nutritious.
- 10 ounces dried penne, rotini or ziti
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
- 1 cup brown lentils
- 1 can (15 ounce) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 3/4 cup tomato sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- Pinch of crushed red pepper
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the carrots and cook until slightly softened, 2 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent, 2 minutes longer.
- Add the lentils, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and oregano. Stir to combine, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the lentils are tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Note: You may need some add water midway through the cooking if the lentils absorb too much of the liquid before they're fully cooked.
- When the ragu is nearly done, cook and drain the pasta according to package directions. Plate individual servings and top each with a portion of the lentil ragu.