This pasta dish was a go to from my childhood. I remember my Mom and my Nanie making this for dinner or snack in a pinch.
I like it because it can be adapted for what you have in your pantry and/or fridge.
Quick and Easy Elbow Pasta with Lentils
Serves 4-6 approx. 15-20 min.
Mise En Place
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely grated
- 1/2 cup of white wine, I used the Riesling that was left on my counter 😉 *
- 540 ml can of lentils, drained and rinsed
- 1-450 g bag of elbow(no.26) pasta, cooked
- 2 cups of reserved pasta water
- 4 tbsp fresh salsa, used Garden Fresh
- 2 cups of our favourite jar of sauce, PC Marinara is mine **
- fresh basil, chopped
- fresh dill, chopped
- parmesan or romano cheese, grated for garnish
- salt, pepper,and red pepper flakes to taste
Cook elbow pasta in heavily salted water according to package directions. Before straining pasta, reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking liquid.***
Using a low to medium heat olive oil in a large sauce pan. Add the finely grated garlic until it becomes fragrant. Don’t overcook or burn the garlic will become bitter. Add the white wine and cook until the alcohol has evaporated approx. 1-2 minutes.
Add the can of lentils, salsa and marinara sauce. Simmer until heated through. Add the reserved pasta water to thin the sauce to your desired consistency.
Add the fresh chopped basil and fresh chopped dill. Check the flavour and season appropriately with salt and pepper.
Add the cook pasta to the finished lentil and marinara sauce and tossed.
Garnish with grated parmesan or romano cheese and red pepper flakes, if for some added kick.
Serve with a fresh side salad.
** A homemade pasta sauce is always a better option but in a pinch find a sauce at the supermarket that has only real ingredients. My go to sauce is PC Marinara.
*** Tip: Sometimes is your final sauce for pasta not up to par? Why add plain old tap water too thin or adjust your sauce when you are going to dump this goodness down the drain? I always reserve at least 1 cup of the starchy, salty flavourful cooking liquid before straining the pasta.