A different kind of pasta recipe for sure that reminds us of the crescent city with deep earthy cajun flavors and fresh herbs that bring together two of our premium family of brands—D’Agostino Pasta and Camellia Brand Beans.
Instead of cooking the traditional middle eastern lentils and rice this recipe is a fun cajun play on the versatile protein. The key with this lentil pasta dish is getting the texture of the lentils right and not under or over-salting the sauce.
Lentils are small, round, tasty and versatile, not to mention loaded with plant based protein, fiber and other nutrients like folic acid, iron, and magnesium. Lentils are one of the first crops humans ever cultivated! They were grown more than 8,500 years ago in the Fertile Crescent (the region around the Mediterranean Sea known as “the Cradle of Civilization”).
40 Min | Serves 6-8
1 or 2 pkgs of D’Agostino Fettuccine
3 stalks of celery, finely chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
2 cups yellow onions, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups Camellia Brand Dry Lentils
1 cup thick cooked ham, cubed
Zest from 1 lemon
1/3 cup parsley, coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Fill a large pot 3/4 of the way up with water, cover and heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, salt well (like the sea).
In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the olive. When the oil starts to sizzle, add the celery, carrots, garlic, and onions. Sauté over medium heat for 15 minutes or until the vegetables soften.
Add the jalapeño peppers with 2 tsp of salt and the red pepper flakes. Keep sautéing for 5-10 minutes and stir often so the vegetables don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
Add the brown lentils, and 5 cups of water into the saucepan. Put a lid on the saucepan and bring the sauce to a boil to let the lentils cook.
Then lower to a simmer for 20 minutes or until the lentils are softened but not mushy. Add the ham and lemon zest. Taste the sauce then season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, add the D’Agostino Fettuccine pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, uncovered, 4 minutes and drain well.
Add about 2 cups of sauce to the pot you cooked the pasta in. Add the cooked pasta, and stir until the pasta is coated.
To finish, place portions in bowls and top with more sauce as desired and the fresh parsley.