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Light Pasta Pomodoro with Lentils

A great source of fiber, iron, and folate, among other things, lentils make this tasty dish as nutritious as it is delicious. I like the smoked mozzarella better than the plain for this, as it imparts a wonderful, rich, nutty flavor. Try it, you'll like it!


  • This is a real treat at potlucks and people rarely realize they're going vegetarian (especially with the caviar lentils).


  • Looking for more great Italian pasta recipes?  Click here!


  • 1 can vegetable broth
  • juice from 1 can Ro-tel tomatoes (set aside the tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup lentils
  • 1 jar pasta sauce
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 3 cups penne rigate or mostaccoli, uncooked
  • 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella or smoked mozzarella cheese


  1. In a small saucepan, stir together broth and Ro-tel juice; heat to boiling.
  2. Add lentils; reduce heat and simmer 35 minutes, covered, or until lentils are tender; drain.  (Now, I add a few whole cloves of garlic and some pepper to this, straining out the garlic cloves when I strain the lentils...I think it just adds some nice flavor to the lentils).
  3. In a medium saucepan, stir together pasta sauce, Ro-tel tomatoes, wine and drained lentils; heat to boiling.
  4. Reduce heat; cook 5 minutes.  (At this stage, I often add some chopped, fresh onions, green/red/yellow peppers and minced fresh garlic...I think it adds character to jarred sauce).
  5. Heat oven to 350F degrees.
  6. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain. (I start cooking the pasta about 15 minutes into the lentils' cooking time, so that everything gets done together).
  7. Stir together pasta and about 2½ cups sauce.
  8. Spread into 11x7-inch baking dish.
  9. Spoon remaining sauce over top, covering pasta completely; sprinkle with cheese.
  10. Bake at 350F degrees for 20 to 30 minutes so that everything blends well and the cheese browns and crisps up.

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