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  • Alex

Italian Lentil Pasta Recipe... Quick, Easy and Filling!

It's been a while since I wrote one of these recipe blogs, but I’ve had quite a few requests for recipes for a few of the evening meals I’ve been making recently so I thought I'd get back on it! This first one is a really quick and simple meal that has become my go-to “back up plan” when I don’t have anything else planned. It’s super convenient as a lot of the ingredients are basic staples that are easy to just keep in the cupboard for a long time, so as long as you keep them stocked up then you’ve always got something healthy to fall back on, instead of ending up resorting to eating out or getting a takeaway! If my morning oats is my breakfast “insurance policy”, then this recipe has become my evening equivalent.

What I love about this meal is that the two components that make up the bulk of the meal, Red Lentil Pasta and Broccoli, come from two food groups we should all be eating more of for longevity, Legumes and Cruciferous Vegetables! As I stated in my previous blog on the subject, we should strive to add “Beans & Greens” to as many meals as possible. Red Lentil Pasta is great because stores for months in the cupboard, cooks quickly in minutes and contains tons of protein compared to normal pasta. Cruciferous Vegetables such as Broccoli contain a powerful anti-cancer compound called “Sulforaphane”

When it comes to choosing your pasta sauce, be careful to read the nutritional contents label as this can make a big difference in the final quality of the meal, try to pick something that its not loaded with oils and has more protein than fat content. My favourite at the moment is a Vegan Bolognese sauce from ALDI’s GutBio Range with 100g containing 2.5g of fat for every 5g of Protein, a much healthier ratio than most oil heavy sauces. *When it came to taking the photos for this blog, our local store had ran out so we ended up stuck with the basil pasta sauce this week!

Let's get to the recipe....

Ingredients (Serves 2)

140g Red Lentil Pasta 1 Head of Broccoli 300g Pasta Sauce (check the labels!) 140g Frozen Sweetcorn 50g Lambs Lettuce 100g Shiitake Mushrooms (Optional) 1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast (Optional) 1/4 tsp Paprika (Optional)

Instructions 1) Chop the Broccoli into thumb size pieces, and place in a pot of water and bring to boil.

2) Measure out 140g of Red Lentil Pasta (70g per person), Put it in a separate pot, cover with water and bring to the boil.

Tip: If you want to save water and maximise the nutrients in the Broccoli, then I would recommend using a stackable steamer pot set like this one. Place the pasta on the bottom level covered in water and place the broccoli on the second level using the steam from the pasta to cook the broccoli.

3) While the broccoli and pasta cook, chop the shiitake mushrooms (if using them) into 1 cm strips so that they resemble meaty pieces. Any mushrooms will do but shiitake have the best nutrition if you can find them. You can also measure out a cup of frozen sweetcorn, you might want to pour some hot water over it to get them defrosting.

4) Once the pasta has softened, pour it out into a sieve and leave it on the side for a minute.

5) You can now use the same warm pot to start to cook the mushrooms, throw them in with a teaspoon of water to stop anything burning on.

6) After a couple of minutes the mushrooms should have softened and released some juice / liquid, at this point you can pour the jar of pasta sauce into the same pot