Before instituting our themed menu plan, we had pasta once a week.
And by pasta, I mean spaghetti with tomato sauce. The Hubster would occasionally add in some meatballs or ask me to whip up a meat sauce. Or I’d throw in some chickpeas. But that was the exception to the rule.
Not that we were complaining about it. Because we weren’t.
But every now and then, I remind myself that it’s okay to switch things up. To get a little variety and try some new flavor combinations. To flex my creative cooking muscles.
When I came across this recipe from Edible Perspective, I got really excited. It was so different from anything we typically make around here, that it gave me butterflies in my stomach. I knew I wanted to try it, but was afraid it would be too different.
Turns out I had nothing to worry about. It was delicious. Even The Babe gobbled it down. Which is saying something.
When the time came to make it, I realized that I have a bad habit of not reading recipes in advance.
It usually isn’t a problem, until said recipe calls for roasting garlic for 45 minutes. And then I’m screwed, because it’s 5:30PM and I generally don’t have the time to wait unless I want to feed The Babe something else for dinner.
All I have to say is thank goodness for the convection setting on the oven.
Lemony Lentil Pasta
- 1 head garlic
- 1-2 tsp oil
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 6 tbs fresh lemon juice about 3 lemons
- lemon zest from 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 tsp salt + pepper
- 1 lb spaghetti
- 1-2 tbs oil
- 1 pint fresh cherry or heirloom tomatoes sliced in half
- 1 cup loosely packed baby spinach
- 1 cup cooked black or green lentils
If cooking lentils, make sure to start those about 45 minutes ahead of when you want to eat. If using pre-cooked lentils, follow directions on package for heating up.
Preheat oven to 375°F. (Can use convection setting to reduce cooking time.)
Remove any loose paper from garlic head, and slice tips off (about 1/4").
Place on a foil covered baking sheet (or in a muffin tin) and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt and let sit for 5-10 minutes to absorb oil.
Place in oven and roast for about 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and garlic is soft.
Remove from oven and let cool.
Squeeze out garlic cloves and mash with a fork.
Transfer to a jar and combine with 1/2 cup olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Shake like crazy and set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook pasta according to package (about 8-10 minutes typically).
While pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil and tomatoes and sauté for about 5 minutes.
Add in spinach and sauté for another 3-5 minutes or until spinach is bright green and wilted. Remove from heat.
Drain spaghetti and return to pot. Add in roasted garlic and lemon dressing. Toss to coat.
To plate: add noodles, and top with spinach and tomato mixture and 1/4 cup cooked lentils.