This was a good one. It would have made good leftovers too, if I hadn't dumped it all on the floor while transferring it to its container en route to the fridge. Pancha ran right over to help clean it up. You barely need a swiffer with a dog in the house.
This, the second recipe I chose from Johanne Killeen's and George Germon's Cucina Simpatica uses dried beans to top pasta again, and again, somehow it works. Also again, I opted not use 4 tablespoons of oil and a stick of butter so as not to undo the health benefits. Instead, I sautéed the veggies in a little oil and didn't stir in the butter at the end. But in case you feel like making this dish a little richer, I'll cue you when to add the extra butteryness in the recipe below. Use as much as you like, as you probably won't outdo the original recipe.
One note, although it's called a "spicy lentil sauce" if you actually like spicy, you might consider increasing the amount of red pepper flakes and hot paprika. I'll be using a bit more next time to achieve that satisfying tingle on the lips.
Spaghetti with Spicy Lentil Sauce
1 cup chopped fresh fennel
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 large onions, chopped
1 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
1 teaspoon Hungarian hot paprika
1 heaping cup dry lentils
1 lb. spaghetti
Heat some olive oil and a little butter in a 12" skillet and add the fennel, carrot, onion, garlic, salt and red pepper. Sauté the vegetables for 15-20 minutes, until they're soft.
Add the paprikas and toss to coat the veggies. Cook for an additional 2 minutes.
Add the lentils and 5 cups of water. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for around 20 minutes, until the lentils are soft but not falling apart.
Cook the pasta separately, until it is still quite firm.
Drain the pasta and add it to the lentil sauce with a bit more butter. Toss for 1 or 2 more minutes until pasta is cooked to al dente. Serve