Tomato-Lentil Pasta Sauce
This sauce is deceiving; it has such a robust flavor, you’d expect it would have a long list of ingredients. But the truth is it’s basic, fast, and just plain wonderful! Toss it with a healthy pasta like a soba/kamut noodle or rice noodle, and pair it with a light salad for a nutritious meal.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
freshly ground black pepper
4 medium cloves garlic
1/2 cup red or white wine
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
1/2 cup brown (green) lentils, rinsed
3/4 cup water
3 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained (optional)
3 to 4 tablespoons toasted pine nuts (optional)
In a large pot over medium heat, add the olive oil, salt, dried herbs, pepper, and garlic, and cook for a few minutes until the garlic has softened (reduce heat if garlic starts to brown). Add the wine, increase heat to high, and bring to a boil for a couple of minutes. Add the tomatoes, lentils, and water, and let the mixture come to a boil again. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and let cook for 40 to 45 minutes, or longer if needed, until the lentils are soft. Turn off heat until pasta is ready.
After tossing with pasta (see note below), add the capers if using, and toss thoroughly. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, and garnish with toasted pine nuts and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil if desired.
Use about 1 lb (450 g) of dry pasta for this sauce. While cooking the pasta, reserve a cup or so of the cooking water. Once pasta is ready, drain and toss with the lentil sauce and a little of the pasta water.