Cumin spiced lentils with pasta and caramelised onions

Savoury side dishes that mix spiced grains, lentils and pasta are very common in Middle Eastern cookery and this is one of my favourites. It’s wonderful as part of a mezze-style lunch or supper with roast lamb or chicken. Tasty, quick, easy and inexpensive to make, it will quickly become a favourite with your family too. I like the savoury combination of just the cumin, stock and onions but you could also give a little chilli kick too. I’ve also made a version of this to use up chopped leftover BBQ lamb and some fried aubergine pieces stirred through at the end to make a substantial main course supper dish. Yum!

Green lentils with pasta and onions

Serves 4 to 6 and takes about 25 minutes.

  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of light olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 100g large green or brown lentils
  • 100g dry tagliatelle nests
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • Large handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • optional: a pinch of chilli flakes or powder

To make…

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan, add the cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle for a few minutes. Add and fry the onion and garlic until brown and caramelised. Sprinkle in the ground cumin (plus the chilli option) and a pinch of salt.
  • Meanwhile, rinse the lentils in plenty of cold water. Boil them in plenty of water with the chicken stock cube for about 10 to 15 minutes until just tender.
  • Break the tagliatelle nests into the stock with the lentils and cook until al dente. I usually look at the pack instructions to see when to add the pasta – I usually cook the lentils for 15 minutes and pasta for 10 so you add the pasta after 5 minutes basically.
  • Drain quickly and toss in the extra virgin olive oil and then stir in the onions and the chopped parsley. Check for seasoning and sprinkle with a little extra Maldon salt or freshly ground black pepper to taste.
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About Janet Davies @pigeoncottage

Food lover, author, cook!
This entry was posted in Recipes, Summer recipes, Vegetables and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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