A New Kind of Sauce

Can I see a show of hands of you who love eating pasta? Good, good. Now, can I see a show of hands of those watching their waistline? Yep, new year, makes sense. Lastly, can I see a show of hands of you who would like a healthier take on pasta with a rich sauce that involves a power food? WELL COME ON IN.

The sauce is surprisingly made with red lentils, which is – wait for it  – a power food! These fiber-packed legumes are considered a nutritional fountain of youth. On top of that, I paired the sauce with buckwheat pasta, a deliciously healthy stand-in for regular pasta. It’s high in something called rutin that helps lower blood pressure. Lower. Blood. Pressure. Okay I’m just gonna say this: I seriously need rutin in my life.

Red Lentil Sauce Over Buckwheat Pasta:

What it took for 2:

* ½ pound buckwheat elbow macaroni
* 1 cup red lentils
* 1 (14.5 oz) can chopped or diced tomatoes
* 1 tomato bouillon cube
* 2 Tbs. tomato paste
* ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
* 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
* 2 Tbs. basil
* coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Cook the buckwheat pasta until it reaches al dente. Drain and set aside.

In the meantime, heat 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes. Scoot the onions to the side and add the tomato paste. Let it caramelize for 1 minute. Add the cayenne pepper and stir to combine. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for 25 minutes. The lentils will really break down during this time. Taste for flavor, and if needed, use an immersion blender at the last second to really get it nice and blended. If you don’t have one, no worries! Season to taste.

Top a small portion of buckwheat pasta with the sauce and sprinkle with more herbs for punch. Add a drizzle of olive oil for more depth. Monday night ain’t so bad, eh?

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