Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pasta with Roasted Onions and Lentils

Lucy with her eggs in her Texan grandparents' yard.
 Notice they were all emptied immediately.

Happy belated Easter. I took the kids and skipped town for a week. And skipped last week's post as well. Sorry. I was too busy soaking in the Texan spring sunshine and pollen. The wildflowers were in high form and everywhere. So lovely. My allergies took a thrashing but I love going home to Texas.

And I love coming home again to Maryland. After too many hours on completely full flights (and in my case two seats with one adult and two children, squish) it is nice to come home to my own house. It is spring here too and it is time to plant my garden. Hurray.

I believe this year's garden will be better than last year's novice attempt. At least I hope. I'm planting strawberries, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, cauliflower, lettuce, broccoli, bush beans, peppers, herbs and a few other things I can squish into the tight quarters of my urban garden. Melons take up entirely too much real estate. Sigh. Maybe our next yard will be more expansive.

What are you planing?

And while you are still waiting for spring vegetables to cook with here is a easy to fix and really tasty recipe I devised to use pantry staples with a little brightness from some fresh thyme. A pound of pasta, French green lentils (I swear the best tasting variety and hold their shape better than the brown, red or yellow that easily break down), roasted onions and your choice of crumbled goat cheese or shaved Parmesan and fresh thyme. I went with the goat cheese, because I had some to use up, but I also tried the Parmesan, it is no mistake just a different delicious direction.

Pasta with Roasted Onions and Lentils

1 lb. fusilli or a similar curly pasta to catch the lentils, onions and cheese
4 onions, Frenched (don't worry- I'll tell you how to do it)
1 cup French green lentils or lenttiles du Puy
3 oz. goat cheese, crumbled or Parmesan shaved (use your vegetable peeler)
1 to 2 T. fresh thyme leaves or minced fresh rosemary or a mix of both
Olive oil
Crushed Red Pepper, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Preheat your oven to 400*. Peel your onions by slicing off both ends, but taking care to just barely slice off the root end so the onion layers remain in tact. Cut the onion in half and then again, and again until you have eight wedges of onion. Repeat with other onions and place on a baking sheet and toss with about 2 T. of the olive oil. Roast until brown, soft, sweet and slightly crisp. About 30 minutes should do it.

While the onions are going about their business boil a large pot of water. Add 2 t. of salt and the lentils to the water- no need to wait until the boiling starts. After 20 minutes when the lentils are no quite finished cooking is when you add in the pasta. Allow them to cook together until they are both done- about 10 minutes. Drain. but reserve 1 cup of the cooking water. Place the lentils and pasta into a serving bowl.

Remove the onions their baking sheet and into the serving bowl, being sure so scrape in any oil remaining on the sheet, it tastes great and you don't want to lose it.

Add the cheese and herbs and crushed red pepper, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Toss all together with another 2 T. of olive oil and any of the reserved cooking water as needed to loosen the pasta. Serve immediately or chill and serve as a cold dish for later. (I loved it both ways.)

1 comment:

  1. I am planting peas, tomatoes, chard, buttercruch lettuce, and a variety of beans- and some beets for fun.



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