Giant bowls of cozy, comfort pasta for you today. Yes.
But the healthy kind of course!!
Have you guys ever heard of red lentil pasta? Up until a few weeks ago, I had no idea what is was. My brother’s girlfriend Caitlin is studying nutrition and is currently into finding all the healthy ways she can to eat her favorite foods. Obviously pasta is a favorite (I mean who doesn’t love pasta?), so she started buying this red lentil pasta from Whole Foods and using it in place of regular pasta. When she came out for Christmas, Caitlin informed me of all these new to me foods, red lentil pasta being one of them. As soon as she told me about it, I pretty much immediately ran to Whole Foods and cleared the shelves of each and every box.
Ahh, sorry…not sorry?
Being a lentil lover, and of course a pasta lover as well, I was pretty excited to try these red lentil pastas out. If you guys have yet to try red lentil pasta, I am highly recommending it (no, this is not a sponsored post). It’s heartier than traditional pasta, but the taste is honestly very similar, and I am in love with its pretty red color. Colorful food gets me every single time. Once I tried this pasta, I knew I wanted to use it to make a marinara inspired sauce full of healthy nutrients, basically I wanted to make a superfood pasta.
Enter this Golden Sun-Dried Tomato Red Lentil Pasta.
This dish is full of fiber, healthy carbs, vegetables and yup, that crazy popular ingredient of the moment, turmeric, hence the “golden” in the title. Everyone in my family is a huge sucker for pasta. Actually, I don’t really no anyone who doesn’t love a bowl of pasta. Oh wait, apparently my cousin Abby doesn’t like pasta, but I dunno, either she’s crazy or she’s just lying to herself, cause pasta is the BEST. My brother Kai’s favorite way to consume his pasta is covered in a really good, heavy on the garlic, homemade marinara sauce, topped generously with parmesan cheese. Well, that or fettuccine sauce, but I’m still thinking red sauce would win if I were to ask him.
When I was talking to Cait about the Healthy January recipes she suggested a super healthy, everyday style, marinara sauce to put over her favorite red lentil pasta. Seemed like a pretty perfect idea to me so I went for it. My goal was to keep the recipe quick and simple, but still healthy and flavorful.
To make the sauce I turned to all my favorite ingredients and key players: olive oil, onion, garlic, basil, oregano, salt and pepper, and really good fire roast san marzano tomatoes. Since I wanted this sauce to be flavor packed, but not take all day to cook, I added sun-dried tomatoes into the mix. Trust me, these are a must as they give you that slow cooked all day flavor. SO GOOD.
My super foods for this recipe? Ground turmeric, apple cider vinegar, baby kale (or spinach), and of course, the red lentil pasta.
Put everything together and you not only have the most delicious bowl of pasta, but it’s basically a power bowl…meaning going back for seconds (and thirds?) is totally a must. 🙂
I ended up topping my bowls of pasta with toasted pine nuts and sesame seeds and extra handfuls of spinach…the boys dumped on the parmesan, typical. Good news is that they were down with the golden sauce and the red lentil pasta. If you’re not a huge fan of turmeric, I would still consider giving tis recipe a try. The turmeric’s flavor gets pretty drowned out by all of the tomatoes.
My family members who don’t live here are long gone, but I’ve been making this pasta once a week and loving it. Trust me, it’s going to become your new go-to week night pasta recipe. The best part? It is truly GUILT FREE. Yes, please!
PS. Cait’s healthy eat’s are inspiring so many recipes this month. She is consistently snacking on apples and almond butter and I am starting to think maybe I need to make a recipe involving these two ingredients? Maybe a healthy breakfast/snack? Anyone looking for ideas like that?
Golden Sun-Dried Tomato Red Lentil Pasta.
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 sweet onion, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- kosher salt and pepper
- 1 (28 ounce) can fire roasted tomatoes, I like san marzano
- 1/2 cup oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, oil drained + chopped
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 (8 ounce) box red lentil pasta or other short cut pasta
- 2 large handfuls baby spinach or kale
- grated parmesan, nutritional yeast, toasted pine nuts and or seeds, for topping
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the onion and cook until soft and caramelized, about 5-10 minutes. Add the garlic, basil, oregano, turmeric, salt and pepper. Cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Slowly add the tomatoes and the juices from the can, crushing the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and vinegar. Simmer the sauce for 10-15 minutes or until reduced slightly. If desired, you can puree the sauce in a blender.
Stir in the spinach and cook five minutes longer.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and boil the pasta to al dente according to package directions. Drain.
Divide the pasta among bowls and top with a generous amount of sauce. Top as desired with cheese, nuts and herbs.
Mid week pasta? Yup, yup. YUP. Let’s do it. 🙂