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Autumn pasta with lentils
Diana Henry's family dish is beefy and intense. Use up those annoying bits of pasta that end up in the bottom of various bags and serve it with green beans or a plain green salad dressed with a mustardy vinaigrette.
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2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus a little extra for drizzling
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 clove/s garlic, grated to a purée
¼ tsp chilli flakes
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped
225g green lentils, washed well in a sieve
1 tbsp tomato purée
2 bay leaves
4 sprig/s thyme, plus extra leaves to garnish
400g can chopped tomatoes
8 cherry tomatoes
250g macaroni, or another pasta shape of similar size
15g Parmigiano Reggiano, grated, plus extra for serving
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sauté
the onion for 5-8 minutes over a medium
heat, until quite soft. It shouldn’t get too much
colour. Add the garlic and chilli flakes and cook
for a couple of minutes more, then add the
carrot, celery, lentils, tomato purée, herbs,
seasoning and 1.2L water. Simmer the lentils,
with the lid half off, for about 30 minutes.
The lentils should keep their shape.
Tip the can of tomatoes and the cherry
tomatoes into the pan (leave the tomatoes
whole to give a bit of texture and structure).
Add the pasta, season again and add more
water if you think the dish needs it.
Simmer for 10-15 minutes, uncovered, until
the pasta is tender, stirring often so the pasta
releases its starch – you want to end up with
a dish that is quite thick, not like a soup. Add a
little more water if you think the dish needs it.
Add the cheese and check the seasoning
once more. Stir in some more extra virgin olive
oil or drizzle it over individual servings. Serve
with more grated cheese and the thyme leaves
to garnish. This can be reheated the next day
and still tastes great.
Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe
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