This easy weeknight mainstay is one of those rustic and rib-sticking meals that just so happens to be good for you. The “sauce” ingredients come together in almost less time than it takes to cook the pasta, so have the table set and the wine poured before you get started!
Whole Wheat Linguine with Pancetta, French Lentils & Greens
1 pound whole wheat linguine
1 bunch spinach (or other tender green like arugula, swiss chard, escarole, or baby kale) stemmed, leaves washed and drained, but still slightly damp
1/2 c French green lentils, cooked to al dente
1/4 c olive oil
4 oz pancetta, diced
4 large cloves garlic, slivered
salt and pepper, to taste
grated parmesan reggiano, to serve
Cook the linguine in a large pot of salted water to al dente. Drain, reserving 1 c of the cooking water. While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook pancetta until it begins to crisp. Add garlic and continue cooking until garlic begins to get a little color and is fragrant.
Return hot, just-drained pasta to cooking pot and add spinach, olive oil, pancetta, garlic, lentils and a small amount of the pasta cooking water. Toss everything together until hot pasta cooks spinach lightly and everything is thoroughly combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve, toped with grated parmesan.