Red Lentil Fusilli with Bacon, Butternut Squash, and Spinach

This post was created in partnership with Pasta Lensi. As always, all opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep me creative in my tiny kitchen!

Vibrant pasta made from red lentils brings a boost of protein and fiber to this scrumptious, salty-sweet bowl of comfort food.

A photo posted by Ashley Covelli (@bigflavors) on

A few months ago, I went to a rooftop pasta party in NYC to celebrate the launch of a line of single ingredient pastas from Pasta Lensi.

I was really intrigued by the idea – dried legumes that are ground and mixed with water to form lower carb, higher protein and fiber versions of some of my favorite pasta shapes.

Plus, it was a rooftop.pasta.party. How could I refuse?

A photo posted by Ashley Covelli (@bigflavors) on

There are currently 4 varieties: Chickpea Casarecce, Red Lentil Fusilli, Black Bean Sedani, and Yellow Lentil Penne Rigate. Since these pastas are made from an ingredient that has more flavor than standard pasta, you can treat it as an ingredient instead of a blank canvas.

At the dinner party, we were served 4 courses – 1 dish made with each variety of legume pasta, created by the charming Chef Walter.

I was excited to find that each of the pastas had a nice texture, and really played off of the other ingredients of the dish well.

This line of pastas is good news for people who have gluten sensitivities, those looking to cut carb intake, and vegans. And bonus points for it being Non-GMO Project Verified.

Red Lentil Fusilli with Bacon, Butternut Squash, & Spinach: Vibrant pasta made from red lentils brings a boost of protein and fiber to this scrumptious, salty-sweet bowl of comfort food.

I decided to recreate one of Chef Walter’s dishes at home, and it did not disappoint! The red lentil pasta is nice and colorful, and worked beautifully with the flavors of the squash and spinach.

Of course, a little bacon grease never hurt anyone either.

This dish was pretty easy to put together, but I did tweak it a bit from the recipe I was given.

Red Lentil Fusilli with Bacon, Butternut Squash, & Spinach: Vibrant pasta made from red lentils brings a boost of protein and fiber to this scrumptious, salty-sweet bowl of comfort food.

The original recipe calls for the garlic, sage, and spinach to be stirred in at the end. I put the garlic and sage in the pan to sauté a bit with the squash, then wilted the spinach down in the same pan before adding the pasta and liquid to the pan. It brought the flavors through more in the final dish, and my Italian husband absolutely loved it!

This dish is perfect for autumn, and it’s one I’ll definitely make again and again. I think some crispy sage leaves would be a fun garnish, too. And I love that I can eat a big bowl of it and not feel like I ate a giant bowl of carbs.

Pasta Lensi Legume Pastas are currently available nationwide at Walmart, and they’re hoping to branch out to more retailers in the future. I definitely recommend giving them a shot. I’d love to see what kind of meals they inspire in your kitchen!

Red Lentil Fusilli with Bacon, Butternut Squash, and Spinach

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 20 minutes

Total Time 30 minutes

Makes 4 Servings

Red Lentil Fusilli with Bacon, Butternut Squash, and Spinach

Vibrant pasta made from red lentils brings a boost of protein and fiber to this scrumptious, salty-sweet bowl of comfort food.

Ingredients

1 package (10 oz.) Pasta Lensi Red Lentil Fusilli
6 slices bacon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 sage leaves, roughly chopped
3 cups baby spinach
3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, partially cook the pasta for 7 minutes. Drain, reserving 2 1/2 cups of the pasta cooking water.
  2. Meanwhile, in an extra-large skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Discard all but 3 tablespoons of the bacon fat in the pan.
  3. Add the olive oil and squash to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, for about 7 minutes. Add garlic and sage to skillet and sauté 1 minute. Add spinach and sauté, stirring, until it wilts down, about 1-2 minutes longer.
  4. Add the partially cooked pasta and 2 cups of the reserved pasta cooking water. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring, until the pasta and squash are cooked, about 5 minutes, adding additional pasta cooking water if needed.
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in parsley and cream. Season generously with salt and pepper and stir to combine.
  6. To serve, place pasta in a large serving platter (or divide between 4 bowls), sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and crumble bacon over top. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Pasta Lensi

Big Flavors Rating: 5 Stars

https://bigflavorstinykitchen.com/red-lentil-fusilli-with-bacon-butternut-squash-and-spinach/

Red Lentil Fusilli with Bacon, Butternut Squash, & Spinach: Vibrant pasta made from red lentils brings a boost of protein and fiber to this scrumptious, salty-sweet bowl of comfort food.
  • Love the sweet and savory mix here and will keep an eye out for the pasta! I have been making less pasta because of the carbs but I miss it!

  • Lori H

    That looks delicious! Of course, the crispy bacon definitely adds to the curb appeal!

  • Daniel

    I cooked this tonight and it was incredible. Very easy to make and everyone loved it. This will be going into the rotation. Thanks.