Penne Pasta with Lentils


Pasta with Lentils

4 Servings

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 60 minutes

Diet Style


Tools You'll Need

  • Measuring Cups
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Chef’s Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Large Saucepan
  • Wooden Spoon


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup brown lentils, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3-4 fresh sprigs of thyme
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 5 cups water
  • 8 oz. whole wheat penne pasta
  • ⅓ cup whole milk
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato puree, low sodium
  • 1 tablespoon Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • Grated Parmesan, for serving


  1. Cook onion and carrot

    In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and carrot, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often until soft but not brown.

  2. Add lentils

    Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper, and add the lentils, tomato paste, thyme, bay leaf, and red pepper flakes.

  3. Cook

    Cook for 3 to 4 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

  4. Let lentils simmer

    Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 40 to 45 minutes with the lid slightly ajar, until the lentils are tender.

  5. Add pasta and milk

    Bring the lentils back to a boil and add the pasta and milk.

  6. Cook pasta

    Cook for about 10 to 12 minutes, uncovered, use a wooden spoon to stir often so that the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom until the pasta is al dente and the liquid has reduced to a creamy, ragù-like sauce.

  7. Discard bay leaf and thyme

    Discard the bay leaf and thyme sprigs.

  8. Stir in purée

    Stir in tomato purée and bring to boil.

  9. Serve and garnish

    Divide the pasta among serving bowls and garnish with the parsley and fresh basil, Parmesan, and more olive oil.