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Spaghetti with Tomatoes and Lentils

Spaghetti with Tomatoes and Lentils

Combining whole grain pasta and quick-cooking lentils, this pasta dish gets top marks for speed, flavor, power nutrient delivery and digestibility. It’s a yummy way to start your half cup habit.


  • 8 ounces whole grain spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes halved
  • 1 cup lentils cooked (preferably beluga black lentils or French green lentils, which keep their shape after cooking)
  • 1 handful basil leaves about 1 cup, chopped
  • 2 cups arugula leaves coarsely chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  • In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the chopped onion, garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring, occasionally, for about 3 minutes, just until the onion starts to soften.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. When it reaches a rolling boil, add the whole grain spaghetti. Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
  • Add the halved grape tomatoes to the sauteed onions. Stir to coat the tomatoes in the oil and continue cooking, so tomatoes soften. This should take about 8 minutes, about the length of time it will take for the pasta to become al dente. Stir the lentils in with the tomatoes.
  • Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot. Add the tomatoes and lentils and pasta water. It has a beautiful starchiness, which, combined with the pasta, tomatoes and lentils, thickens into a spaghetti-hugging sauce. Stir well together.
  • Add the chopped basil and arugula by the handful, combining just until the greens wilt. Season generously with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Enjoy at once.