Cauliflower Lentil Penne

Author: SallyK / Date: 2011-11-09 @ 08:29 am / Print Me! /
Tags: Cauliflower / Legumes / Lentils / Pasta and Noodles / Tomatoes /

Cauliflower Lentil PenneWhole wheat pasta or whole grain pasta makes this a delicious dish. The red lentils cook very quickly, unlike green or brown lentils which, if substituted, would have to cook much longer. This dish comes together quickly and is a one dish, high protein meal.

Serves 4.


  • 3 c cauliflower florets (half of a large trimmed cauliflower)
  • 6 oz whole grain penne pasta
  • 1/2 c red lentils
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil (divided use)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp dry or fresh rosemary, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 medium fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Parmesan cheese, grated or Vegan Topping (optional)


  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water over medium heat, drop the cauliflower and cook about 4 minutes, or until just tender.
  2. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside, retaining the boiling water.
  3. Drop the penne and lentils into the boiling water and stir well.
  4. Boil about 14 minutes, or until the lentils and pasta are tender. Reserve half a cup of pasta water and drain.
  5. In a large skillet on medium high heat, warm two tablespoons of the olive oil.
  6. Saute the cauliflower and onions in the oil about 3 minutes, or until beginning to brown.
  7. Stir in the rosemary, garlic, and red pepper flakes; saute another minute.
  8. Pour in the tomatoes and the reserved pasta water; stir well.
  9. Lower heat and simmer covered for 3 minutes.
  10. Stir in the black pepper, salt, penne/lentils, and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. If desired, add the Parmesan cheese to taste.
  11. Serve hot or at room temperature.