Summer Squash and Lentil Pasta

This warm lentil pasta salad is a perfect dinner for summer evenings. Leftovers will pack well for lunch, too. It's full of fresh flavors, including summer squash, roasted red pepper and parsley, and a lemon-butter sauce that makes the dish seem just indulgent enough. If you can't find green or black lentils as specified, regular brown lentils will do -- just be sure not to overcook them.

Summer Squash and Lentil Pasta
Makes 4 to 6 servings
1 cup French green (de Puy) lentils or black beluga lentils, picked over and rinsed
8 ounces large shell pasta (I used whole wheat)
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons lemon juice (about one lemon, juiced)
2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 small zucchini, sliced into super thin rounds
1/2 small yellow squash, sliced into super thin rounds
1/3 cup chopped roasted red pepper (I used jarred)
1/3 cup crumbled feta (2 to 3 ounces)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian/flat-leaf parsley
olive oil, for drizzling

In a heavy-bottomed pot, bring 2 1/4 cups water to a boil. Stir in the lentils and reduce heat to a very gentle simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 30 minutes, until the lentils are tender to the bite. Drain off any extra liquid, stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente, according to package directions. Drain, then toss with the lentils. Whisk together the melted butter, lemon juice, garlic, 1/8 teaspoon salt and a few turns of freshly ground black pepper. Toss the pasta and lentils with the lemon-butter sauce, zucchini and yellow squash rounds, red pepper, feta, and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer to a serving bowl and finish with a light drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately.

About the Author

Kate is a self-taught photographer and vegetarian home cook from Oklahoma. Her blog, Cookie and Kate, is all about celebrating whole foods. She is an avid supporter of the occasional indulgence and enjoys nothing more than eating ...
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