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Exotic Saffron Scented Pasta with Lentils

Serves 4

Originally aired

INGREDIENTS
  • 1/2 cup lentils
  • Salt
  • 1 pound egg tagliatelle pasta or other wide egg pasta
  • 2 pinches saffron threads
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, very finely chopped
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, very finely chopped or grated
  • 1 small chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 sweet pepper, very finely chopped, red or yellow in color
  • 1/2 palmful coriander, about 1 1/2 teaspoons
  • 1/3 palmful cumin, about 1 teaspoon
  • A handful of fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish, coarsely chopped
  • Optional topping for mixing into pasta: spoonfuls of thick plain Greek yogurt
PREPARATION

Rinse lentils and place in pot. Cover lentils with water and bring to a boil, season water with salt and cook to tender, about 25-30 minutes. Rinse well and drain.

Place saffron threads, stock and zest of 1 lemon in a small pot and heat to low boil. Then reduce heat to low and keep stock warm.

When lentils are done, bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Season water with salt and cook pasta to al dente.

Meanwhile, heat EVOO, a turn of the pan, over medium heat then melt butter into the oil and add onions, garlic, chili pepper and sweet pepper, then season with salt and pepper and saut 5 minutes. Add lentils and season with coriander, cumin and adjust salt to taste.

Add saffron broth and juice of 1 lemon and cooked pasta. Toss the pasta a minute or 2 with lentils and serve in shallow bowls with cilantro and yogurt on top for mixing in.

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