Lentil Pasta with Creamy Red Pepper Sauce

By Lindsay Oliver

I can’t say enough how much I love lentil pasta.  It’s seriously delicious and tastes just like pasta!  But it’s only made out of lentils.  That’s it.  One ingredient.  And therefore, it’s gluten/wheat free, plus it’s jam-packed with protein.  This homemade creamy red pepper sauce is also to die for.

I have found the lentil pasta at Walmart Supercenters and I believe some Harris Teeters carry it.  You can also order it off Amazon.  I love the Tolerant and Lensi brands.  They have red and green lentil varieties (I don’t taste a difference between them and they’re both amazing), chickpeas (pretty good), and black bean (ehh) brands.  As a vegetarian who also went to school in little Cuba (Miami), I can’t get enough black beans… but I personally do not love the black bean pasta.  But maybe you’re feeling a bit loco and want to give it a try.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large bulb of garlic
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of kosher salt plus additional to taste
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper plus additional to taste
  • 1 (8 oz.) package Lentil Penne
  • 1 (12 oz.) package steam in bag frozen broccoli cuts
  • 1 (12 oz.) jar roasted red peppers, drained
  • 1 cup half-and-half or light coconut milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces
  • 1 cup freshly grated vegetarian Parmesan cheese
  • Shredded vegetarian Parmesan cheese (for garnish)
  • Crushed red pepper flakes (for garnish)

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Add roasted red peppers to the bowl of a food processor and process on high until peppers are pureed and no chunks remain (approximately 30-60 seconds). Pour into a mixing bowl and set aside.
  3. Cut approximately ½ inch of the top of the bulb of garlic to expose the cloves inside. Peel away any loose papery layers. Place garlic bulb on a piece of foil and drizzle olive oil onto the exposed cloves followed by salt and pepper. Pull up sides of foil to seal up the garlic bulb package. Roast for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and allow garlic to cool for about 15 minutes before handling. When ready, carefully squeeze out each clove.
  4. After the garlic has been roasting for 20 minutes, start cooking the pasta according to package directions (after the water boils, it takes approximately 9 minutes for the pasta to cook). When the pasta is done, drain in a colander, but do not rinse.
  5. While the pasta is cooking, make the broccoli according to package directions. (approximately 5 minutes). Once done, let stand in the bag until ready to use.
  6. At the same time as the pasta and broccoli are cooking, make the creamy red pepper sauce. Whisk the half-and-half or light coconut milk into the roasted red pepper puree. Pour the roasted red pepper mixture into a saucepan. Add butter and cook over medium-high heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese. Also stir in salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
  7. Add pasta to a large serving bowl. Mix in broccoli and roasted garlic. Add creamy red pepper sauce and stir to combine.
  8. Garnish with shredded Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper flakes.