Post sponsored by Barilla. See below for more details.
When it comes to vegetarian pasta dishes, it can feel a bit harder to get protein into the meals. I typically opt for making a side salad loaded with chickpeas and occasionally I’ll make a version of lentil Bolognese. However, sometimes I just want a simple, 20-minute dinner that doesn’t take any fuss. Enter this black olive lentil pasta using at Barilla Red Lentil Penne.
I love shallots, but I know they can be a bit of a pain when it comes to mincing. Swap out shallots for minced garlic or minced onion. If you want to make this during the spring, this is also an opportune time to use green garlic.
I typically reach for kalamata, primarily because we pick up olives from the olive bar quite frequently. However, using black or green olives would work as well. We keep a couple cans on hand for quick meals, and this would definitely be one of those quick meals!
Barilla Red Lentil Penne
Up to now, I’ve showcased the chickpea pasta from Barilla, but I’m also excited to share their red lentil version. This beautiful pasta is made from just red lentils and one serving has 13g of protein. When cooking vegetarian, it can be a puzzle to get enough protein into your day and I love when I can use ingredients like lentils in unexpected ways. You can find all varieties on Amazon.
Make it Vegan
One of the best things about this pasta: it’s easy to make vegan. While I love the parmesan in this recipe, you could easily leave it off. Or, try your hand at some vegan parmesan. I love using this mix that has hemp and nutritional yeast- it’s such a great nutty flavor.
Black Olive Red Lentil Pasta
4 ounces Barilla Red Lentil Penne
¼ cup olive oil
⅓ cup minced shallots
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¾ cup sliced kalamata olives
2 tablespoons minced rosemary
½ cup grated vegetarian parmesan, for serving
Cook pasta according to the instruction on the package, making sure to not overcook the pasta. Drain, reserving a ½ cup or so of pasta water, and make the olive oil mixture.
Heat a medium pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil, followed by the shallots and a pinch of salt. Cook until the shallots are tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the olives and cook for another few minutes until the olives are warm.
Finally, stir in the rosemary and cooked pasta. Cook for just a minute, to bring everything together. Turn off the heat and add the parmesan. Stir, taste, and adjust the levels of salt/parmesan as desired. If it’s looking like the olive oil hasn’t coated the pasta, add a splash or two of the reserved pasta water.
Keywords: red lentil pasta
Disclosure: This recipe was created in partnership with Barilla. All thoughts and opinions are my own. It’s content like this that helps me keep this site running to provide the vegetarian recipes you see every week.
I did not like tomatoes as a child. My mom grew tomatoes in our garden and I always turned up my nose at them. What a missed opportunity to enjoy something so delicious! As an adult with my own garden, I was excited to grow a big harvest this summer. Unfortunately, both tomato plants died before they produced any fruit! If you’re lucky enough to have a homegrown bounty of fresh tomatoes still warm from the summer sun, I beg you to make this marinated tomato and avocado salad.
In fact, I beg you to make this marinated tomato and avocado salad even if you don’t have a vegetable garden. That is, unless you’ve discovered this recipe in the dead of winter and all you can find are bland greenhouse tomatoes. In that case, bookmark this page and come back in summer when tomatoes have the absolute best flavor. I used pearl tomatoes on the vine for this recipe because they’re the perfect bite size when sliced into quarters. Feel free to use whatever tomatoes you have on hand!
This marinated tomato and avocado salad is a fantastic summer recipe whether you’re barbecuing at home or headed out for a picnic. The tomatoes can chill in the fridge while you prep the rest of your feast, making this a really simple recipe to prepare if you’re in charge of multiple dishes. Dice and add the avocado just before serving for the best results.
While incredibly fresh and delicious on its own, there are many ways you can bulk up this marinated tomato and avocado salad if you need to feed a crowd. Try adding cooked quinoa, couscous, or farro. Or, turn it into a pasta salad by adding cooked and cooled shells or penne. I have big plans to spread this salad on crusty bread for a bruschetta-inspired appetizer.
1 or 2 ripe avocados, diced (depending on your preference and the size of your avocados)
⅓ cup cilantro, chopped
Quarter the pearl tomatoes and place them in a large bowl. Peel the red onion and cut it in half from tip to root. Place the flat part of the onion on your cutting board and carefully slice it into thin half moons. Add the onion to the bowl with the tomatoes.
Combine the chopped garlic, lime juice, olive oil, agave, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl and stir to combine. The marinade should be salty, tangy, and just a tad sweet – adjust the ingredients until balanced.
Pour the marinade over the sliced tomatoes and onion and gently toss to coat. Marinate the tomatoes in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Just before serving, drain any excess liquid from the tomatoes. Tip: if you’re serving this salad with cooked quinoa, couscous, or pasta, reserve the marinade for extra dressing. Transfer the marinated tomatoes and onions to a serving platter and add the diced avocado. Top with chopped cilantro and serve fresh.