I have been experimenting this fall and winter with alternative protein pastas. I love chickpea pasta. Banza is my go to brand. It’s in a bright orange box if you are looking to try it. The penne and elbow shapes work best with sauces and pestos. I wanted to try red lentil pasta next. Fortunately I was at a food show and was given a 5 lb bag of red lentil pasta. Yes, 5 lbs…that’s a lot of pasta. Even better, I love this as much as the chickpea pasta.
Here is a recipe to try with either pasta. I made it with red lentil for the Women on Wellness event I co hosted last weekend. What a hit. Mediterranean flavors simply dressed with a shallot vinaigrette. Try it and let me know what you think. These pastas boast 12-23 grams of protein per serving and are gluten free.
Mediterranean Red Lentil Pasta Salad
- 8 oz red lentil pasta * cook as directed and rinse well.
- 1 can artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 4 oz kalamata olives
- 1/2 english cucumber seeded and cut into small dice
- 4 oz feta cheese crumbled * option if you want to make this vegan
- Shallot Vinaigrette * you will not use the whole recipe.
1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil or neutral oil ( half each)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider or red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
Whisk together. Dress greens or veggies or pasta. Save any leftovers in the refrigerator.
Bring a pot of well salted water to a boil. Cook pasta to directions 10-12 minutes. The water will look murky, rinse the pasta very well in cold water. This is a cold pasta salad. Place all other ingredients in a bowl and toss with a few tablespoons of vinaigrette. Add pasta and 1/4 cup more of the dressing. Coat well, and refrigerate. This pasta is best made a day ahead. Add more dressing the next day if needed. Garnish with parsley, basil or chives before serving. Store extra dressing in the refrigerator for up to a week.