Whole Wheat Rigatoni with Lentil Ragu

Some of the best recipes I’ve ever created were from taking chances and from being a little unconventional in the kitchen. This Whole Wheat Rigatoni with Lentil Ragu is one of those recipes. Add in the vegetables you have in your kitchen or reduce the red pepper flakes if you want less spice. Use what you have and make this recipe your own.


· 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

· 1 cup finely chopped carrots

· 1 cup finely chopped onions

· 1 cup finely chopped fennel

· 2 tablespoons chopped garlic

· 1 pound dried brown lentils, rinsed

· 3 cups water

· 2 cups tomato puree

· 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

· 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

· 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

· Kosher salt

· 1 1/2 pounds whole wheat rigatoni pasta

· 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Makes 6 servings


1. In a large saucepan or Dutch Oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the carrots, onions, fennel, and garlic and cook, covered, for about 25 minutes, until the vegetables soften.

2. Add the lentils, water, tomato puree, parsley, rosemary, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 30 minutes, covered, until the lentils begin to soften. Season to taste with salt. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes more, or until the lentils are tender.

3. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil and cook the pasta for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain, add to the lentil ragu, and toss gently for 1 to 2 minutes over high heat, until the pasta is hot and coated with the sauce from the ragu. Toss with the cheese and serve.