Black lentils and spinach baked pasta

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I don’t know what is it about the combination of lentils and spinach but it’s amazingly good one. Together they make one superb creamy, earthy and hearty amazing taste, which is a reason lentils and spinach are one of my go to combinations I like to use as a base to build on some mighty delicious flavours. And when it comes together with some crispy and juicy pasta, it’s simply a match made in heaven.

This pasta was one of the first dishes I made in a skillet and I wouldn’t know was it just me, but I believe it additionally brought up all the flavours. Whatever’s the case, I love my skillets and happily use them ever since 🙂 Of course, you don’t have to use the skillet for this one, any oven baking dish will do. So let’s go make the pasta!

Ingredients you’ll need for about 4 servings:

  • 500g spinach
  • 250g black lentils, you can use brown ones too
  • 500g tomato chunks sauce, pelati
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 onion
  • pasta
  • salt, pepper, olive oil
  • chili pepper (optional)

Now let’s cook:

Peal and dice the onion. Add a splash of oil to a preheated pan and saute the onion. Grind or mash the garlic and add to the onions. Pop in the lentils, previously rinsed under a cold water, cover with about 200ml of water or broth and leave to simmer at lower heat for about 10-15 min.

If you like the chili, now is the moment to add some of it. Pour in the tomato sauce, stir and bring to boil, than add the spinach and let it all cook for another 10-15min or until the lentils are tender. Season with salt and pepper.

In the meantime turn the oven to 200C.

Some 5 mins before the sauce and lentils are done you can pop the pasta in the pan and cook it with the sauce together or you can boil it and add to the sauce a bit later.I prefer cooking it with the sauce as it gets all of the flavours, but this really depends on the size of your pan 🙂 Whatever you choose, we’re going to cook the pasta only halfway trough as the dish will be finished in the oven for that crispy and crunchy texture.

So, if you’re boiling the pasta, add just a big pinch of salt to the water, bring to boil and cook half of the time recommended. Drain and add to the sauce. Additionally for some real crispiness, sprinkle with a tea spoon of nutritional or deactivated dry yeast and bake in the oven for another 10-15min.

Enjoy!

 

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