Red Lentil Noodles are Badass

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Yeah, you heard me. Bad. Ass.

I first spotted this strange bag of red sedanini in an aisle at Trader Joe’s. It jumped out to me for several reasons. One: it was red. The only red pasta I’ve ever seen was doused in tomato sauce. Two, it is organic! Normally that means nothing to me but on this shopping trip it made me feel fancy. Three, and most importantly, the front of it looked pretty.

Yep, I spotted it because it looked pretty.

I picked up this innocuous bag only to find that it was sedanini made with red LENTILS. I have several questions, like: how? Why? WHERE!? After a bit more research, I discovered that red lentil pasta has a ton of health benefits and can even be a great gluten free alternative for those who can’t eat regular pasta.

I was sold, so it was time to go home and experiment. The bag remained untouched in my cupboard until I stopped by the farmers market (LIKE AN ADULT) a week later and picked up zucchini, tomatoes, and pumpkins (it was almost Halloween.) I began to cook, and my masterpiece was born.

Disclaimer: the cooked pasta by itself is not my favorite. I have never been partial to the flavor of lentils, However, when I piled vegetables and chicken sausage on top of it, the flavors blended together in an AMAZING way. It is now one of my favorite healthy meals.

So, give this recipe a try. It is gluten free, high in fiber and protein, and a mix of very interesting colors ;).

Farmers Market Red Lentil Extravaganza

Serve 2-3 people, unless you are real hungry.

Ingredients:

  • ½ whole zucchini
  • 4 large mushrooms
  • ½ large tomato
  • Red Lentil Pasta
  • 2 links chicken sausage
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • Capers (optional)
  • Salt, Pepper, Paprika, Olive Oil

Cut the zucchini, mushrooms, and tomato into small cubes (keep separate.) Heat a large nonstick pan over medium heat with olive oil and cook the mushrooms first, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Put the cooked mushrooms in a bowl and set aside. Repeat said cooking cycle with the zucchini (add salt, pepper, AND paprika to taste,) and tomato. Set all aside.

Bring water with salt added to a boil and dump in the red lentil pasta. Cook for 6-8 minutes or until soft and easily chewable. Slice the chicken sausage links into small discs and heat them in the pan. Flip after 3-4 minutes, or until brown. Set aside.

Mince the garlic cloves. Heat olive oil, red pepper flakes, and garlic in the pan until garlic turns brown. Dump the cooked pasta into the pan, along with the cooked vegetables, and chicken sausage, and mix together. Add capers to the top and cover the pan, turning the heat to low and letting sit for 4-5 minutes (or until too hungry to wait.)

Serve portions in separate bowls with a little Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. Enjoy with a glass of red wine, or with water, or with whiskey, or just with your damn self because you are awesome.