Most people will probably tell you, rice and beans are their favourite filling and cheap staples. Mine are lentils and pasta. A while ago I bought the German version of this cookbook, filled with amazing Moroccan, Turkish and Lebanese recipes. There’s a lot of meat involved, but many recipes are easily veganized or they are already vegan. Like rishta bi addas, Lentils with pasta and caramelized onions. It has only five ingredients, if you don’t count salt and pepper and I bet you have most of them on hand. I changed the Lebanese recipe by cutting out most of the oil (the recipe calls for 6-7 tablespoons of olive oil) and to balance this out, I added a bit of lemon juice and cumin. My version makes one large serving or two small servings. You can also serve it as part of your mezze plate.
Pasta with Lentils and Caramelized Onions
1 teaspoon oil
1 large onion (mine was about 150 g), cut into thin strips
2 large cloves garlic, sliced
50 g (1/4 cup) brown lentils
4 cups water
50 g (about 2 oz.) pasta (the original recipe calls for tagliatelle, I used gemelli)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
1 handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
Heat the oil in a pan and add onion and garlic. Cover the pan with a lid and let the onions caramelize, over medium to low heat, for about 20 minutes. Make sure to stir them from time to time. If they stick to the pan, deglaze with some cooking liquid from the lentils. Add cumin and lemon juice at the end of cooking time.
Place lentils in a large pot and add water. Bring to a boil and cook until al dente. Add pasta to the pot. When the pasta is done, drain pasta and lentils and mix with onions. Season with salt and pepper and stir in parsley. Serve immediately.