Lentil + Marinara Macaroni

Lentil + Marinara Macaroni

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

Lentils:

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 red or yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ¼ cups brown lentils, rinsed
  • 3 cups water

Everything Else:

  • 10 oz. (400 g) whole grain elbow / macaroni pasta
  • 8 oz. (2 packed cups) grated mozzarella cheese
  • 32 oz (1 1/3) jars of Rao’s Marinara Sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups vegan ricotta
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • basil, chiffonade for garnish

Directions:

Lentils:

  1. Heat the oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and salt.  Cook until translucent for approx. 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  4. Stir in the lentils and water.
  5. Bring to a simmer and cook until the lentils are tender and cooked, approx. 30-40 minutes.
  6. Drain the lentils through a fine-mesh sieve and return to the pot or save for later.

Bringing it Together:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water (1 tbs) to boil and cook the pasta until it is al dente.  Drain and return to the pot.
  3. Add the lentils to the pasta.  Add 1/2 cup of the cheese. Season to taste with salt (approx. 1/4-1/2 tsp), pepper, and red pepper flakes.
  4. Spread 1/2 cup marinara sauce on the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch baking dish.
  5. Pour the lentil and pasta mixture into the dish and spread it evenly.
  6. Add spoonfuls of the ricotta over the pasta and lightly swirl so the dollops stay concentrated.
  7. Pour the rest of the sauce over the dish and spread evenly.
  8. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  9. Remove the aluminum foil and turn the broiler on high.
  10. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the dish and cook under the broiler until the cheese is golden and slightly crusty on top (approx. 5-6 minutes).
  11. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes.
  12. Sprinkle fresh basil on top and serve.

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