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Feeding Health: Pasta with Lentils

Updated: Aug 28, 2019

At Second Harvest, we know that hunger is a serious health issue. That is why our Nutrition Services team works every day across the 18 counties that we serve, teaching healthy cooking classes, conducting healthy grocery store tours, and teaching our community about nutrition. They also share healthy, low-cost recipes that can be made with the staple products one might be able to find in a local food pantry. Here is one we wanted to share with you!

Pasta with Lentils

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour and 5 minutes Total Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes Servings: 4

INGREDIENTS 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped 1 garlic clove, finely minced Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1 cup brown lentils, rinsed 1 tablespoon tomato paste 1 fresh bay leaf 5 cups water 8 ounces short tubular pasta (such as ziti or rigatoni) ⅓ cup milk 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley Pinch crushed red pepper flakes Grated Parmesan, for serving

DIRECTIONS 1. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and carrot, and cook, stirring often until soft but not brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper, and add the lentils, tomato paste, thyme, bay leaf and red pepper flakes. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer with the lid slightly ajar, until the lentils are tender, 40 to 45 minutes. 2. Bring the lentils to a boil and add the pasta and milk. Cook, uncovered, stirring often so that the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom, until the pasta is al dente and the liquid has reduced to a creamy, ragù-like sauce, 10 to 12 minutes. Discard the bay. 3. Divide the pasta among serving bowls and garnish with the parsley, and Parmesan.

For more about Second Harvest and our work #feedinghealth, visit

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Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC

3655 Reed St. 

Winston-Salem, NC 27107

Tel: 336-784-5770

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