Saturday, December 4, 2010

Fettuccine with Chard and Red Lentil Tomato Sauce

Red lentils have become a regular part of my pantry in recent years, and I'm always looking for new ways to use them.  The "Fettuccine with Chard and Red Lentil Tomato Sauce" (page 199) sounded like a winning combination just from reading the title!  This recipe went together amazingly fast, using just a handful of ingredients.  Red lentils, crushed tomatoes, and chard, plus some seasoning, cooked up and served over prepared fettuccini, and you have dinner on the table in about 45 minutes.

I did not saut√© the garlic in oil.  Instead, I added it to the sauce at the very end of the cooking time in order to retain more garlic flavor.  I also could not find chard in the grocery store, so I used fresh spinach instead, with good results.  I'm a little confused, as the recipe title specifies Fettuccine, but in the list of ingredients and instructions, this changes to Linguine.  Are these one and the same?  Since I had fettuccine in the house, that is what I used.  Any long thin pasta would have worked, from angel hair to spaghetti.

What a hearty and flavorful sauce, like a marinara, but more substantial.  The cooked red lentils sort of disappear into the crushed tomatoes, yet you know with every bite there is more here than just crushed tomatoes.  The chard (or spinach) mixed into the sauce is very pretty, and the red and green colors make it a perfect meal to serve during the Christmas season.  This is an easy and tasty sauce I will definitely make again.

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