Penne con Lenticchie Rosse e Zucchine-Penne with Red Lentils and Zucchini

by cakeduchess on October 20, 2011 · 45 comments

It’s been raining for three days. Luca told me about the “tomado” warning at school today. This is fall in Florida. There aren’t many pretty cool days. We aren’t going on any apple picking trips or pumpkin picking. For sure you can’t find any hay rides.

But a girl can dream.

One year we did get to go where it was colder and take a hay ride to a pumpkin patch. It was hard for us to decide on the perfect pumpkin.

Aren’t these lentils pretty? I always thought they were called pink lentils. Did you know they were called red lentils? I really like cooking with them. They are smooth and dreamy.
Have any of you heard about the Fairy Hobmother? I’m not joking!

A quick and healthy dinner. The kids loved it. I loved it a little too much. I can’t wait to make this again this week.

Normally with red lentils, I make this delicious dahl recipe I found from my talented friend Shulie. The kids prefer to eat the lentils with the pasta. I prefer to keep the dahl all to myself.:)

Penne con Lenticchie Rosse e Zucchine-Penne with Red Lentils and Zucchini


3-4 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
3 ripe tomatoes, diced
2/3 cup dried red lentils, rinsed and picked over
3 cups vegetable stock
2 rosemary sprigs
1 organic zucchini, sliced thin
2 teaspoons sea salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Add two tablespoons olive oil to a medium sauce pan.  Add the onions, garlic, tomatoes, and rosemary sprigs the sauce pan and cook over medium high heat, 10 minutes.  Add lentils, stock, salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer 20 minutes or until lentils are soft. Remove the rosemary sprigs.  In a small pan over medium high heat, sauté’ the zucchini in about a tablespoon of olive oil until tender (not mushy/overcooked).

When the lentils are ready, fold in the zucchini. Set aside and keep warm.

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring 6-quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of salt. When the water comes to a boil, cook pasta to al dente according to package directions.

Drain the pasta and add to the lentil sauce. If needed, add a little more extra-virgin olive oil, add the chopped parsley and Parmigiano Reggiano. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
Hope you’re having a super fabulous week!! Thank you for your comments and support.

{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

Paula October 20, 2011 at 3:49 am

I’m not entering the contest, just wanted to say how cool it was that the Fairy Hobmother came to visit you. Love what she left behind just for you!
Your Penne looks like the perfect hearty dish for this time of year…even if you don’t get a hayride or a stroll through the pumpkin patch ;)


Maia Bee's October 20, 2011 at 6:43 am

I want a panini maker!! :) no costume for me-my daughter’s first Halloween and she’ll be a pumpkin!!


Zita October 20, 2011 at 7:14 am

Wow! This is an amazing vegetarian dish. I knew this is called red lentils, I usually cook soup from it. This is a great idea to make a pasta sauce from red lentils. I will definitely make it this week! :)

Concerning the giveaway I would love to win a super blender like yours. As a vegetarian I often make juices, cream soups and I have an old blender that is not very strong. I have so many recipes in the line to make (for example nut butters) but I can’t make them because I don’t have a strong blender. So fingers crossed for me, hope I’ll be lucky! :)


Katrina {In Katrina's Kitchen} October 20, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Fairy Hobmother- so cute!! If she came to my house she might be surprised to see that I don’t own a food processer. I have had a mini processer on my Christmas list for years but Santa hasn’t delivered. ;) Dressing up? I’ll be lucky if I can get something together for my kids in time! Lol


Jamie October 20, 2011 at 1:51 pm

I love the whole idea of a Fairy Hobmother! I have to visit that site! How cute! And oooh I have been dreaming of a stand mixer for years but have never been able to afford one. Last time my husband was actually going to buy me one for my birthday, my computer died. Completely. So he spent the money on a laptop to replace it. Well, why a stand mixer? Anyone who knows me or reads my blog knows my passion for baking. That’s all I need to say. (oh I will say that I was going to get my dad’s stand mixer but it mysteriously disappeared. And then I had asked to inherit my dear older brother’s stand mixer and before I could claim it my younger brother sold it. So you see?) – but my next choice? A much-needed dishwasher!


Jamie October 20, 2011 at 1:52 pm

And Lora, I LOVE this dish – it is so Italian in all of its simplicity and goodness. And I love lentils and zucchini. I see this for dinner soon. xo


Georgie October 20, 2011 at 1:57 pm

I love red lentils too! I love all lentils, we eat them every other week, as a soup or salad. I’ve never prepared them this way – It’s a great recipe – a keeper. Thanks for sharing.


foodwanderings October 20, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Fairy Hobmother?! lol I do need a spice grinder and a hand held blender for soups. Going back to your story haven’t thought about lack of pumpkin patches and hay rides in Florida. Also heehee we did have the discussion about pink lentils I like your version. Lastly see how much love I got for you got on Firefox to leave you some blog love.


kat October 20, 2011 at 5:51 pm

I really need a stand mixer. I beat everything by hand and it’s a lot of work!
Thank you for the opportunity!


Jan October 20, 2011 at 7:19 pm

I love red lentils! I turn them into soup usually (with lemon and cumin), but I never thought to make a pasta sauce.

If the fairy hobmother were to pay me a visit, I hope she’d bring me a full-sized food processor. I have a mini one, and when you want to make a big batch of pesto or purée roasted squash, it’s a bit of a downer ’cause you have to blend it in like a zillion batches….


VAS October 20, 2011 at 8:33 pm

I would love fairy hobmother to leave me a crockpot/slow cooker. Love your recipe…I make something similar with lentils and carrots…:) Thanks!


redfox October 20, 2011 at 8:45 pm

Dear Fairy Hobmother I would like a food processor to make yummy pies this holiday season! I am dressing up as a little devil this Halloween. :)


Larissa October 20, 2011 at 9:12 pm

Dear Fairy Hobmother I would like a food mill. I threw the disks from my old food mill away, by accident ( cleaning up the cellar!), and I miss my food mill a lot!


Cucina49 October 20, 2011 at 9:34 pm

This looks yummy–I love zucchini in pasta.


Barbara | Creative Culinary October 20, 2011 at 10:57 pm

I could use a Thermidor double oven. Too much? I thought so!

I think I’m set…how lucky am I?

And I have some of the red/orange/pink lentils…been trying to figure out what to do with them; this sure looks like a good idea!


Priscilla - She's Cookin' October 20, 2011 at 10:59 pm

Awww, I miss those pumpkin patch days! And, what a lotta pumpkins – I can see why it was so difficult to pick one. I’m wishing the Fairy Hobmother would send me a Cuisinart Pressure Cooker – my sister loves hers :)


Dionne Baldwin October 20, 2011 at 11:10 pm

WOW! This is a much welcome change to the usual sauces we have with our penne! We need to have pasta more often. I will have to make this and pleasantly surprise my family!

We have wet falls here but no “tomados”. :) I hope you all stay safe.

I just LOVE that photo of the pasta!


Roxana GreenGirl October 21, 2011 at 12:40 am

Hi Lora,
such a wonderful and delicious dinner idea. We love lentils, in fact I was just planning of making some tomorrow although hubby is craving some rice, but I told him until I buy a new rice cooker, I ain’t gonna cook any rice.


Happy When Not Hungry October 21, 2011 at 1:30 am

This penne looks amazing and I love the protein that the lentils add. Love going to the pumpkin patch too!


Yummy Mummy October 21, 2011 at 2:25 am

Yum, I love lentils! I’m so happy to have found your blog via stumbleupon! I’ll definitely be stumbling more from you. Happy new follower!

Marina @


Viviane Bauquet Farre October 21, 2011 at 3:20 am

Yum! Health, colorful, seasonal, and delicious – what more can you ask from a dish?


Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen October 21, 2011 at 6:49 am

How awesome! Enjoy your new blender. I have had my eye on a yogurt maker lately, that would make life so much easier to have a self-contained heating unit that would keep an even temperature.


Squash Blossom Babies October 21, 2011 at 1:08 pm

WOW, this looks greats!


Angie's Recipes October 21, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Love lentils! The penne looks so delicious and comforting.


Megan October 21, 2011 at 2:01 pm

I love red lentils, but never thought of combining them with pasta. And another use for zucchini – thank goodness! Happy to see I’m not the only one still using it this late in the year.


Jessica / Green Skies and Sugar Trips October 21, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Fairy Hobmother I could really use a an electric hand mixer, yes the kind that I hold in my hand and has beaters. Mine literally blew up in my hand (purple and yellow flying sparks and ALL) while I was making shipped cream.

I could REALLY use a hand mixer for the upcoming holiday season. Oh PLEASE pick me Fairy Hobmother!!!


Farmgirl Gourmet October 21, 2011 at 5:11 pm

What a great recipe!! Love the lentil addition. Creative.

As for the Fairy Hobmother – my husband just broke our blender (literally 5 minutes before I typed this) – so I would definitely say a blender would be my appliance of *need*.


Samantha October 21, 2011 at 7:06 pm

I have been asking for a food processor for YEARS and no luck. Just bought a new house so now would be the perfect time to finally get one! As for Halloween, I’m in the planning phases of a homemade dinosaur costume. It should be a fun time!


Rosita Vargas October 21, 2011 at 11:53 pm

Saludable y vegetariano una versión espectacular,me encanta éste plato buscaré las lentejas rosadas,abrazos grandes,hugs,hugs.


Jeanette October 22, 2011 at 2:11 am

What a lovely vegetarian pasta recipe, so interesting with lentils. Wish the Fairy Hobmother would visit me and leave me a toaster oven ;)


Jersey Girl Cooks October 22, 2011 at 2:16 am

Great pasta dish! What a nice lady the fairy hobmother is. I wish she would bring me a crock pot since mine is over 15 years old.


Tickled Red October 22, 2011 at 2:30 am

What a great recipe, my surfer adores anything with lentils. I know how you feel, fall is never quite truly fall along the coast. I;m not entering the wonderful contest but I just love that the Fairy Hobmother paid you a visit and left you the cool new blender. xoxo


Cheryl S October 22, 2011 at 2:45 am

One of those awesome mixers with attachments that stand on the counter would be sweet! I’ll be a witch this year, going to a pre-Halloween costume party?


JulieD October 23, 2011 at 4:07 pm

How nice! I have been eying the Cuisinart panini maker forever!

Your penne looks beautiful!


Reeni October 24, 2011 at 1:32 am

Love your spiffy new blender! The Fairy Hobmother visited me sometime back too – she rocks! Your penne looks delicious! I would never think to mix lentils with pasta!


Elisabeth October 24, 2011 at 2:56 am

Lora-I’m so glad you got that sweet blender from the fairy hobmother. It really is a nice one, and you really needed one since your broke the pitcher on the one you had for a long time.
I really could you a nice electric coffee pot, since I donated the one that I had, which was way too big, and bulky!

The penne with the lentil sauce, and the zucchini was really yummy…I can vouch for that!


Baking Serendipity October 24, 2011 at 3:46 am

Fall in Phoenix is even more non-existent. It was 95 and sunny again today. I’m still waiting for a break! Your rainy weather sounds wonderful, and so does this rainy day food :)


SMITH BITES October 24, 2011 at 11:12 am

i LOVE that the Fairy Hobmother picked YOU LORA!!! fabulous recipe and i too, love the red lentils but honestly, have only made soup with them so this recipe is fascinating to me – and perfect for the cooler temps we’re having!


Kelly | Eat Yourself Skinny October 24, 2011 at 6:57 pm

What a great recipe, this looks so delicious!! :)


Fuji Mama October 24, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Lentils make me beyond happy!! Can’t wait to try them in this dish!


Aggie October 25, 2011 at 8:10 pm

What a nice Fairy Hobnobber! :)

This looks so so good! I love that you have lentils with pasta…I must make this Lora!!


Anonymous October 27, 2011 at 10:43 am

I just made this and added a few table spoons of cream cheese.
Absolutely gorgeous!


Tali Simon @ More Quiche, Please October 29, 2011 at 5:52 pm

I’m getting excited about this recipe because it uses ingredients I often use in my cooking, but never together…yet!

Like several other people, I’m also wishing for a stand mixer, ideally in pink. I don’t think I’ll ever let myself spend so much on an appliance, so the kind fairy is probably my only hope on that one.

Second choice? A mandoline. I make oven sweet potato chips with my peeler and would love the “real tool,” not just for this recipe but for all the others I always avoid due to the lack of mandoline.


Carolyn October 29, 2011 at 6:57 pm

Glad you got your new blender glass! So sweet. I have lots of appliances, but what I really need is a new, good electric coffee maker, preferably with a thermal caraf. I need much caffeine to get me through the mornings. Who IS this Fairy Hobmother person(s)???


Give me money January 29, 2012 at 11:51 am

nice snap shoot


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