- 12 ounces dry organic red lentil rotini
- 1 pound bunch fresh asparagus, ends trimmed
- 1 large or 2 small shallots, peeled
- 1 large red serrano or jalapeño pepper
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt, divided
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon (3 tablespoons juice)
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted (optional)
- Prepare an outdoor or indoor grill.
- Meanwhile, prepare the pasta according to package directions* in (salted) water, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta, toss with ice cubes until cool, then drain again. Toss the cooled, drained pasta with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the oil and chill in the refrigerator in a large serving bowl.
- Place the asparagus, shallot, and pepper into a 9- x 13-inch pan or dish. Drizzle with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the oil and toss to lightly coat. Grill over direct medium-high heat until charred as desired, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer asparagus, shallot, and pepper back to the pan, sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and the minced garlic, and toss to coat.
- Slice the asparagus into 1 1/2-inch pieces on the diagonal; thinly slice the shallot; and extra-thinly slice or mince the pepper.
- Whisk together the lemon juice and zest and remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a liquid measuring cup.
- Add the grilled asparagus, shallots and pepper and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt to the pasta and toss to combine. When ready to serve, add the lemon vinaigrette and toss to combine. Sprinkle with the pine nuts (if using) and serve.
Per serving: 300 calories, 10g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 500mg sodium, 39g total carbohydrate, 8g dietary fiber, 2g sugars, 15g protein
(NOTE: 320 calories with pine nuts)
*HINT: Try my eco-friendlier “lid cooking” method: Bring water to a boil; stir in pasta; bring back to boil; cover and turn off (or remove from) heat and let “lid cook” per time suggested on package directions.
- Serving Size: 1 1/4 cups