I am enjoying the new red lentil pasta varieties that have been popping up at the store. If you are going to have pasta, these are a good way to go, with just lentils, quinoa and water as ingredients, and packed with protein and other nutrients.
This recipe is a cold salad twist on linguine with tomato, basil & garlic. And it takes the nutrition density even a step further by eliminating the refined oil and instead getting it from whole foods like avocado. You can add other veggies to the asparagus or eliminate the asparagus for a more traditional version of a tomato, basil, garlic “TBG” pasta salad.
oil free red lentil pasta salad t.b.g.a.
1 box Pow red lentil linguine (8 oz.)
2 large heirloom tomatoes (about 2 cups), cut into 1/4 inch pieces, seeds and juice included
2-3 cloves garlic (depending on how much garlic you like)
1/4 cup fresh julienned basil
1 fresh lime, juiced
1 avocado, diced
3 tbsp. hulled hemp hearts
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 bunch asparagus- just the tips
Sea salt & pepper to taste
Cook the pasta to al dente per manufacturer’s instructions. About 2 minutes before you strain the pasta, add the asparagus tips so they can blanch a bit. Strain and cool the pasta and asparagus under running water immediately and set aside. Meanwhile, place the tomatoes, basil, garlic & lime juice into a medium mixing bowl. Add the avocado and mix gently. The mixture will blend together and the avocado with give it a creamy, emulsified consistency. Be gentle so the avocado doesn’t get totally broken down. You want pieces of avocado to remain intact.
Add the pasta, asparagus, hemp hearts, and nutritional yeast, and gently mix to incorporate everything. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately with fresh basil for garnish
NOTE: the lentil pasta does not do so well as a leftover, so its better to enjoy this right away, or half the recipe if you don’t think you will eat all of it. This recipe makes about 4 servings.
Hemp hearts are a great fatty substitute for dairy, containing essential fatty acids, fiber, and other phytonutrients. Check out my recipe for hemp pesto here!