Recipe Excerpt: As Winter is slowly loosening it’s grip on our Sunny South Africa, warming spices make way for cooling herbs, and pasta dishes are the perfect way to transition our bodies and taste buds. My family loves eating pasta – and I love cooking pasta dishes because they are so versatile and can be made into something really special with minimal extra effort. I live in a house full of boys, so I sometimes need to get creative to get their veggies into them! Hiding the goodness in sauces is an easy trick that every mom knows. Cooking with the right herbs and spices to create pasta dishes that work during every season, is an Ayurvedic Nutritionist’s secret that I’m thrilled to share with you!
Preparation Time: 15min
Cooking Time: 30min + 5min for blending
Total Time: 1 Hour 5 Minutes
500g cavatappi pasta
1kg tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup (85g) red lentils, soaked for 30min and rinsed
2 red or brown onions
4 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
2tbs olive oil (for frying)
1tbs olive oil (for drizzling)
1/2 tin coconut cream
1 cup vegetable broth (or plain water)
1 sachet or 1tsp Ina Paarman vegetable stock
1tsp Ina Paarman rosemary & olive spice
1/2tsp dry dill weed (optional)
1/2tsp celery seeds
1/2tsp Black pepper
5 twists Pick ‘n Pay chilli explosion (or a pinch of cayenne pepper)
1tbs Dijon mustard
40g fresh basil
2 wheels of feta cheese (optional for vegetarian – optional for serving)
1 ripe avocado (optional for serving)
Juice of 1 fresh lemon (optional for serving)
Balsamic reduction (optional for serving)
Method / Instructions:
In a large, deep pot, fry the onions and garlic in oil until golden brown.
Turn down the heat and add the chopped tomatoes, soaked and rinsed lentils, coconut cream and all the herbs and spices. Simmer for 30 minutes with the lid on, stirring occasionally.
After 30 minutes, remove the sauce from heat and leave to sit (while you cook the pasta.)
Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add pasta – cook as per instructions on the packet (usually boiling on high heat for 12 minutes to al dente.
Drain the pasta through a colander and place it back in the pot. Drizzle 1tbs olive oil over, gently stir through to ensure pasta stays separated.
Pour half of the tomato mix into your blender and blend on high for 1min. Pour the sauce over the paste. Blend the rest of the tomato mix for another minute and add that to the pasta, too.
Chop or snip fresh basil roughly and add to the pasta. Gently stir everything together to combine.
Serve with thinly sliced avocado, seasoned with a squeeze of lemon, salt, pepper and balsamic reduction.