I failed my 2007 challenge miserably last week (shame on me) but I'm back on track this week with this slightly unusual pasta dish. Pasta and lentils seemed like a weird combination to me at first but then I remembered how much I had liked the pasta e fagioli, a similar combination, so I give this one a try and I loved it. If you leave the chicken out - and I might just do that the next time - it's a bit like a vegetarian bolognese, filling and healthy and any leftovers make great lunchbox fare. Surprisingly, the recipe comes from a book called Recettes minceur, originally published in English under the title Low-fat Meals in Minutes but don't let that put you off - it's nothing like a boring diet meals but very, very good.
Pasta with chicken, lentil and spinach (serves 4)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 150g minced chicken or finely chopped chicken breast
- salt and pepper
- 100g red lentils
- 680 ml vegetable or chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons tomato purée
- 250g fresh spinach
- 375g pasta - conchiglie work well
This is one of these great recipes where the quantities given are more of a guideline. I used more lentils and less pasta, about half and half. If you have unexpected guests you could easily "expand" this to serve more people by adding lentils or pasta.