• رشتة بالعدس والسبانخ •
Lentils, noodles, carmelized onions, tomatoes, and a spiced broth come together to make this filling Lentil and Spinach Rashteh.
Rashteh is a Levantine dish of lentils, noodles, a spiced broth, and caramelized onions that is based on a classic Persian dish called ash reshteh. The original version is a thick soup/stew with pulses, herbs, spices, and sometimes dried, soured milk known as kishk. That last ingredient is not essential and is easily omitted to create a vegan dish.
The version of rashteh that is made in Arab countries reflects the ingredients and prominent flavors of that region: onions, tomatoes, cumin, allspice, and herbs. Since it combines pasta with lentils, this makes a very filling meal. Additionally, because it uses a lot of pantry essentials, it’s a perfect weeknight meal especially if you have fresh or frozen spinach or other greens on hand.
Many Middle Eastern dishes, both vegan and non-vegan in origin, employ the technique of browning onions for complexity and depth of flavor. Onions are slowly fried and caramelized until they are dark brown, but not burned, in color. These onions form the basis for flavoring pilafs, soups, and sauces. They are even used as a garnish on finished dishes, such as mujaddara. Their potent umami flavor is a wonderful substitute for meat-based broth.
- 1 cup green lentils
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, sliced into thin, short strips (around 2 cups)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ¾ teaspoon allspice
- ¾ teaspoon thyme or oregano
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon fennel
- 3 cups water
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 bay leaf
- half of a chile (jalapeño, serrano), seeds removed
- 1½ cups diced tomato
- 1 lb linguine pasta (a little under 500g), broken into littler pieces
- 2 cups chopped spinach
- a handful of chopped parsley or cilantro (if you want)
- Pick through your lentils for any foreign debris, rinse them, drain, and set aside.
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and onions and sauté with a pinch of salt until browned and caramelized. This step is important because it forms the basis of the broth. Stir constantly until all the onions are dark brown, but not burned. This takes around 7-10 minutes. When done, put half of these caramelized onions in a small bowl and set aside for later.
- To the remaining onion, add the garlic and sauté for around 30 seconds. Now add the tomato paste and sauté for another 30 seconds. Add the cumin, allspice, thyme, paprika, black pepper, and fennel and stir for 10 seconds to bloom the spices.
- Immediately add the water, broth, salt, bay leaf, and the rinsed lentils. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 10 minutes, then add the diced tomato. Keep the lentils on a simmer.
- While the lentils are cooking, break up the linguine into little pieces (1 inch lengths) and boil them in a separate pot of water until fully cooked. Drain and set aside until the lentils are done. (The lentils may be done before the pasta finishes. Just bring the lentils off the heat until the pasta is done)
- When the lentils are fully cooked, fish out the half chile and bay leaf, then add the cooked pasta to them along with the chopped spinach. Stir to wilt the spinach.
- Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly. It's best to serve immediately so put it into a serving bowl and scatter the reserved caramelized onions over the top, along with chopped parsley or cilantro and a fresh drizzle of olive oil if you like.
-Swiss chard, kale, or bok choy all make good substitutes for the spinach. You would need to add those earlier to the cooking, since they all take a bit longer to cook down than the spinach.
-You can easily make this gluten-free by substituting your favorite gluten-free pasta.
-The herbs are up to you, I've made this with parsley, cilantro, and mint. A combination of two of them would be great, too.