I love making this pretty and simple pasta dish for dinner parties, or for just me and my roommate to have tons of leftovers. The recipe that follows makes 4 - 6 servings, and is adapted from Moosewood Low-Fat Favorites. I like to use French lentils, which hold their shape better than other varieties. Red lentils would also be pretty.
PASTA, LENTILS, AND ARTICHOKE HEARTS
1 cup dry red lentils (3 cups cooked)
3 cups water
1 tsp olive oil
2 onions, diced
5 large garlic cloves, pressed or minced
2 tsps grond cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 cups canned diced tomatoes (18oz can), liquid reserved
1 1/2 cups quartered artichokes (9oz package frozen or 15oz can)
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 lb farfalle, rotini, or spirali
salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch parsley, chopped, for garnish (optional)
Bring the lentils and water to a boil in a saucepan. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 to 20 mintues, until the lentils are tender.
While the lentils cook, heat the olive oil in a separate pan (a saucepan, not a frying pan). Add the onions and saute on medium heat until golden. Add the garlic, cumin, and coriander and cook for a couple minute mires, stirring frequently. Add the lemon juice, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and crushed pepper and simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes. By now, the lentils should be done cooking. Drain them and add them to the tomato and artichoke heart mixture. Simmer for 10 minutes or so more.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta and transfer it to a serving bowl. Top it with the lentil and artichoke heart sauce, add salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle with parsley, if using, and serve immediately.