Adapted from Martha Stewart’s New Classics, this was easy to make and very pleasing on the palate. First time I ever tried cavatelli pasta, and I really liked it. It has an interesting texture, and holds the flavors it is served with inside its tubes. I added some leftover chicken to the recipe, but it can be easily enjoyed vegetarian. Buon appetito!
Cavatelli with spinach and lentils
2 cups of lentils (14 ounces)
2 garlic cloves
1 dried bay leaf
1 pound of cavatelli, or your favorite pasta
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 leeks, white and green parts only, sliced into 1/4″ rounds
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon coarse salt
freshly ground pepper
8 ounces of baby spinach
In a medium saucepan, combine the lentils, 1 garlic clove, and bay leaf. Add enough cold water to cover by 2″. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the lentils are tender, 20-25 minutes. Drain and discard the garlic and the bay leaf.
Brin a large pot of water to a boil, add the pasta, and cook until al dente. Drain, but reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water. Place the pasta in a large bowl.
Mince the remaining garlic clove. In a large saute pan, heat the oil and add the minced garlic, leeks, and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the cooked lentils and season with salt and pepper.
Add the spinach and reserved pasta water to the pan; toss to wilt the spinach, about 2 minutes. Pour the mixture over the pasta, toss to combine. Serve immediately. Serves 4.