Adapted from the Washington Post
4 servings; makes about 7 cups
1 cup dried brown lentils
6 cups water, or more as needed
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more as needed
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
12 ounces dried whole wheat pasta (we used rotini)
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
I can diced tomatoes, drained
- 2 cups greens (We used baby Swiss chard)
Pour the lentils into a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven and add the water (to cover); bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
Uncover; stir in the garlic, red chili flakes and oil, then cover and cook for 5 minutes.
Stir in the pasta, cover and cook until al dente, stirring regularly to keep the pasta from sticking and adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a minimum of bubbling. Depending on the pasta variety, the cooking time may take about 5 minutes longer than indicated on the package, so begin tasting the pasta once the suggested cooking time has elapsed. Continue tasting every minute or two until it is cooked through but still firm. The resulting dish should resemble a thick soup; if the mixture seems too dry, add a little water to reach the desired texture, keeping in mind the pasta will continue to absorb liquid as it cools.
Once the pasta is done, add thyme and tomatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are hot. Add greens, stir until mixed in, cover and let the mixture sit for 2 to 3 minutes, then uncover and serve!