This meal is going to happen once a week.
I want it to be forever stocked in my fridge, so leftovers are only a quick re-heat away.
The sauce couldn’t be simpler and the rest is completely adaptable to whatever veggies you’re feeling at the moment. According to many of you, that would be kale!
So this sauce.
Maybe this is what you want to keep stocked in the fridge 24/7. You could throw it over pasta, veggies, tofu, salad, the skies the limit.
What’s inside you ask?
Salt + pepper.
Sure, you could spruce it up with basil or rosemary but it’s definitely not necessary. The roasted garlic leaves this sauce with a very mild garlic flavor. I’m kind of obsessed.
A few tips when cooking gluten-free pasta:
- Use a large pot and make sure you’re using enough water. This will help the pasta from clumping together. If the pasta is crammed in a small pot it will stick.
- Make sure the water is at a rolling boil when you add it, then give it a gentle stir, and bring it back to a boil.
- Check the noodles every minute or so towards the end of the specified cook time. As soon as it’s done to your liking, drain into a colander and rise thoroughly with cold water until chilled. Reheat in the pot with whatever sauce you’re using. This will help to avoid gummy pasta!
- Not all gluten-free pasta is created equal. My favorite is probably made by Lundberg [love that company in general] for its texture and non-gumminess. I also like Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta, and Tinkyada [I’ve found some of the cook times to be less than stated on the package for this brand].
Now for the lentils. They are the new favorite legume in this house! I just love that they can be boiled in about 30 minutes and require no soaking. This makes them incredibly affordable—not having to buy in a can or package—and easy to make on short notice, unlike beans. Plus, their mild flavor and slight crunch make them a great addition to many different types of dishes. And they are just loaded with protein, fiber, and iron!
Also note that all types of lentils are not created equal. For instance, red lentils break down in the cooking process and turn to a fairly soft, mushy consistency. They’re much better for soups and stews. Black lentils [or Beluga], green lentils, and French green lentils [or Puy lentils] are much sturdier and maintain their texture after cooking.
You may be thinking lentils and pasta are a strange combination but the little bite from the lentils ended up being a fabulous compliment to the doughy pasta.
Lemon, Olive Oil, + Roasted Garlic Pasta with Spinach + Lentils gluten-free, vegan // serves 3-4
for the roasted garlic: Store extra in a sealed container in the fridge with olive oil to cover for about 2 weeks.
- 3-4 medium head garlic
- 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or ghee
- Preheat your oven to 350* F. [You can also roast at 375* or 400* for a shorter roast time but I prefer 350*.]
- Peel away the excess skin on the garlic head and slice off about 1/4-1/2-inch from the top of the head, exposing all of the cloves. You want the clove to remain in tact by the stem.
- Place a piece of foil under the head and drizzle with the oil, sprinkle with salt, seal with the foil, and let soak in for 5-10 minutes.
- Roast [easy if you stick them in a muffin tin] for about 50 minutes - 1 hour until the head is golden brown and fully tender.
- Cool until easy to handle and squeeze the roasted cloves into a bowl.
for the sauce: Make a double batch and store in a sealed jar in the fridge! Best when made a day ahead.
- 1 medium head roasted garlic
- 1/2-2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2-1 teaspoon salt + pepper
- Mash the roasted garlic heads in a bowl.
- Combine with 1/2 cup oil, lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon salt + pepper in a jar and shake vigorously.
- Taste and add more oil [depending how acidic you want the sauce] and/or salt and pepper if desired.
- Refrigerate until ready to use.
for the pasta:
- 1, 8oz box gluten free spaghetti
- ~12 cups loosely packed baby spinach
- 2/3 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 cup cooked black or green lentils
- topping options: sliced almonds, parsley or basil, lemon, salt + pepper, capers, fresh parmesan
- Cook pasta + lentils according to package directions, or use pre-cooked lentils.
- In a large sauté pan over medium/med-low add a small drizzle of olive oil.
- Once hot add the spinach and sun-dried tomatoes, then stir for 2-3 minutes until the spinach just starts to wilt.
- Add the pasta to the pan along with desired amount of the lemon olive oil sauce. Stir gently until heated through. If lentils have cooled, reheat in a separate pan with a drizzle of oil over medium heat until hot. Or, they can be combined in the pan with the pasta.
- Plate the pasta and top with about 1/4 cup of lentils for each serving along with sliced almonds, parsley or basil, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and salt + pepper.
- Serve hot.
Eating leftovers cold from the fridge…for breakfast…is totally acceptable.