We returned from a short vacation Friday night and Saturday was filled with all the errands except for grocery shopping. As a dinner time approached I turned to the cupboard to see what kind of thing I could cobble together.
Lentils and chickpeas provide a bit of protein in a vegetarian dish. We served it with some grated Parmesan cheese, cracked black pepper and a splash of extra virgin olive oil.
Pantry Staple Pasta Sauce
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 sm. onion, diced
- 1 sm. bell pepper, diced
- 1 Serrano pepper, minced
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 zucchini, remove ends, quarter, remove seeds and cut into 3/4″ pieces
- 1/2 cup red lentils
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 can artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
- 1 ~28 oz. box chopped tomatoes (such as these)
- 1/2 pound dry pasta, prepared according to the box
- kosher salt and black pepper, as needed
- Heat olive oil in a 4 qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell pepper and a big pinch of salt. Toss to coat in oil and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the minced Serrano and garlic, stir to incorporate and cook until fragrant; about 1 minutes.
- Stir in the dried herbs, red pepper flake and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Push the onions,peppers, etc. to the edge of the pan and add the zucchini. Try to get the zucchini into a single layer on the bottom of the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes until lightly browned.
- Stir the red lentils into the saucepan until distributed. Add the chopped tomatoes and about 3/4 cup of water. Stir to combine, bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes uncovered.
- Stir again and taste for seasoning. Adjust salt, pepper and herbs as desired.
- Stir in the chickpeas and artichoke hearts. Heat over low for about 5 minutes until the chickpeas are heated through.
- Add the cooked pasta and serve.
The boxed tomatoes can be replaced with a 28 oz. can of whole peeled tomatoes which have been broken down by squeezing or chopping. Or, you can, if desired, chop up about 2 pounds of fresh tomatoes. I’d cook an extra five minutes if using the fresh ones.