Hearty and wholesome, this pasta salad is loaded with cherry tomatoes, cucumber, lentils, salty cheese and parsley, all cloaked in a light and bright red wine vinaigrette.

Source: Midwest Living

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Credit: Brie Passano

Recipe Summary

hands-on:
20 mins
total:
1 hr 10 mins
Servings:
8
Yield:
16 cups
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Place lentils in a small saucepan and cover with 2 cups water. Add garlic, bay leaf and pinch of salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain. Remove and discard bay leaf and garlic.

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  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add penne and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain.

  • In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, the pepper and sugar. While whisking, slowly pour in olive oil and continue whisking until emulsified.

  • Add the still-warm lentils and pasta to the bowl with dressing and toss to combine. Let cool 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, to allow flavor from dressing to be absorbed.

  • Add cucumber, tomatoes, onion, olives (if using), parsley and feta to pasta mixture; toss gently to combine. Let stand up to 4 hours at room temperature. For longer storage, cover and chill overnight. Before serving, taste and adjust seasoning, adding more salt, pepper or lemon juice as needed.

*PREP TIP

Before rinsing, always sort through dry lentils in the sieve to remove any grit and small stones.

Nutrition Facts

464 calories; fat 16g; cholesterol 19mg; saturated fat 5g; carbohydrates 63g; mono fat 9g; poly fat 2g; insoluble fiber 5g; sugars 4g; protein 17g; vitamin a 767.7IU; vitamin c 20.2mg; thiamin 0.8mg; riboflavin 0.5mg; niacin equivalents 5.3mg; vitamin b6 0.4mg; folate 278.7mcg; vitamin b12 0.4mcg; sodium 437mg; potassium 500mg; calcium 149mg; iron 4.3mg.
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