I love pasta but eating it every day isn’t recommended (apparently). So my new favorite substitute is legume-based pasta, which includes lentils, beans, peas, and chickpeas. This past year, legume-based pasta have been having a real moment. It first began with a few new brands, but now popular brand pastas have also launched a legume-based line.
The benefits of switching include fewer carbs, more fiber and more protein than regular pasta. They are also gluten-free and contain iron.
While you may not be sold yet, the flavor and texture of the pasta are not that much different than any old regular boxed pasta. What I have noticed is that most legume-based pasta is very toothsome. Other than that, there isn’t much of a difference in terms of flavor.
GIve the delicious recipe a try and enjoy a new alternative to a week night classic!
1 cup fresh basil leaves
¼ cup fresh mint leaves, plus more for serving
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (or for raw walnuts)
1 medium lemon, juiced & zested
1/3 cup olive oil, more for serving
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
Salt and pepper
12 oz. red lentil pasta (or substitute for whole-grain)
1 lb. cooked salmon, roughly flaked (great for using leftover grilled or poached salmon)
In a food processor or blender, pulse basil leaves, mint leaves, garlic, pine nuts, lemon juice, and parmesan cheese together. Slowly add the olive oil until pesto is smooth. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a generous pinch of salt. Once boiling, add pasta of choice and cook according to package instructions. Reserve ½ cup of pasta water, and drain pasta. Set aside in a large bowl.
Add the pesto to the pasta and toss to combine. Add reserved pasta water if needed to loosen pesto pasta. Toss in the flaked salmon. Finish with lemon zest and mint leaves. Serve immediately.