4 or 5sprigs offresh thymeleaves picked, roughly 1 tablespoon
4tbspfreshly squeezed lemon juice
2heaped tbspvegetarian pesto
2tbspextra virgin olive oil
½tspsea saltdivided into two portions
¼tspfreshly ground black pepper + more for serving
½a medium Lemon, the zest of.
Grated vegetarian parmesan for serving
Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan until they are golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan.Add the chopped shallots along with ¼ teaspoon of sea salt.Cook the shallots over medium heat until they are soft, this will take about 15 minutes. Stir them often to avoid then burning.Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
Once the shallots are soft add one tablespoon of butter to the pan and once it has melted add the mushrooms.Cook the mushrooms until they release their juices, about 5 minutes.Now add the garlic and thyme and cook for a further minute or two.
Stir in the Puy lentils, then add the kale and 4 tablespoons of lemon juice.Stir everything together then pop a lid on the pan to wilt the kale.
When the pasta is cooked, reserve 2 tablespoons of the pasta water then drain the pasta and return it to the saucepan it was cooked in. In a small bowl mix together the pesto two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.Add the pesto and the reserved pasta water to the pasta and toss quickly.Now tip the pasta into the kale and lentil mixture, add half the pine nuts and toss well.
Serve immediately with the remaining pine nuts, some freshly ground black pepper and plenty of grated vegetarian parmesan.
Ingredient Swaps - You can swap the puy lentils for brown lentils if you wish. You can use canned lentils or dried if you want. Just make sure you cook the lentils before you add them to the dish. You can easily swap the kale for spinach. And you can swap brown mushrooms for button mushrooms if you want.
Can I make it ahead? You can cook the shallots the day before if you want to cut down on some time, but other than that this is really best made fresh.
Can I make this vegan? Yes, this is really easy to veganise. Swap the butter for plant spread, make sure the pesto is vegan and serve with vegan parmesan cheese.
What about gluten-free? Just use your favourite gluten-free pasta and pesto to make this a gluten-free dish.
Weights and measurements - For US readers, I use Cuisipro measuring cups and spoons, and a Pyrex measuring jug for liquids. These are the industry standard. Cup/spoon volumes can differ from brand to brand, for accuracy, I recommend weighing all ingredients if possible.
Nutritional Information is approximate and is based on one serving. It does not include cheese added for serving.