Spinach and lentils are often paired in Indian cuisine. Here, they are given an unusual context when combined with pasta in this Curried Pasta recipe. For a delicious meal, serve with a fresh flatbread and sliced cucumbers in coconut yogurt, garnished with cilantro. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.
Curried Pasta with Spinach and Lentils
- ½ cup brown or green lentils (or one 15 oz can lentils, lightly drained)
- 8 oz pasta, any short chunky shape, such as shells or rotini
- 1 ½ tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 (14–16 oz) can diced tomatoes, with liquid
- 1 tbsp good-quality curry powder or garam masala, to taste
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- 8–10 oz baby spinach
- ¼ cup raisins, preferably golden, optional
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- Do this step ahead of time. Rinse and sort the lentils and combine them in a small saucepan with 1 ½ cups water. Slowly bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer very gently for 30 to 40 minutes, until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape. Drain any excess water.
- Cook the pasta in plenty of rapidly simmering water until al dente, then drain.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté over medium-low heat until golden, stirring frequently. Add the bell pepper and sauté for another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring.
- Add the tomatoes and spices; bring to a gentle simmer, then cover and simmer for 5 minutes longer.
- Add the spinach, half at a time if necessary, and cook, covered, until it is just wilted but still bright green.
- Stir in the cooked lentils and optional raisins and simmer for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Combine the cooked pasta with the lentil mixture in a large serving container and toss gently. Season to taste with salt and pepper, toss again, and serve.
- Here are more hearty vegan pasta recipes.