This savory pasta dish is a twist on an Italian favorite and is a winner, even among meat lovers. Picture penne pasta and lentils swimming in a delicious hot broth, flavored with tomatoes, garlic, onions and the zing of red pepper flakes. Top each bowl with a pinch of plant-based parmesan and chopped parsley. It’s quick and easy and a one pot meal!
1. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and some of the red pepper flakes, and cook, stirring often until soft but not brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
2. Add tomatoes, thyme and broth and bring to a boil. Taste and add salt and pepper and more red pepper flakes, to taste.
3. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer with the lid slightly ajar, until the lentils are almost tender, 20 minutes.
4. Increase heat to medium and add one or two cups of water along with the pasta and simmer, uncovered, stirring often so that the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom, until the pasta is al dente, 10 to 12 minutes. Add water if necessary. The end result should be a bit soupy.
5. Divide the pasta among serving bowls and garnish with the parsley and plant-based parmesan.