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Whole-Wheat Pasta with Lentils, Spinach, and Leeks

If you like, grate Parmesan cheese over the pasta just before serving, or offer grated cheese on the side.

  • Servings: 4

Source: Martha Stewart Living, May 2003


  • 2 cups (14 ounces) French green lentils
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 pound small whole-wheat chiocciole or other small tubular pasta
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 leeks (about 1 3/4 pounds), white and light-green parts only, sliced into 1/8-inch rounds, washed well and drained
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces baby spinach, washed


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine lentils, 1 garlic clove, and the bay leaf. Add enough cold water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until lentils are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain, and discard garlic clove and bay leaf; set the lentils aside.

  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta; cook until al dente according to package instructions, about 7 minutes. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Place pasta in a large bowl.

  3. Meanwhile, mince remaining garlic clove. In a large saute pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add minced garlic, leeks, and thyme; cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are soft but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add cooked lentils and salt; season with pepper.

  4. Add spinach and reserved cooking liquid to pan; toss to wilt spinach, about 2 minutes. Pour mixture over pasta, tossing to combine. Serve immediately.

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