Well when everything seems a little grey and i don't mean just the weather, comfort yourself with food, in this case its a plate of 'Mango Pickled Lentil Pasta Bake'. Really we should be indulging in early strawberries, zingy rhubarb and spring vegetables, but no we are still cooking with store cupboard ingredients and eating rib sticking food.
Please don't go 'Ugh - Lentil and Pasta - how boring'. I've made a Lentil Pasta before and the lentils lends itself wonderfully as a sleek sauce. You can describe this Mango Lentil Pasta Bake as a Spiced up version of Macaroni Cheese. I know the mango pickle sounds strange in a creamy cheesy dish, but take my word for it, it really works. One of my absolute favourite recipes using Mango pickle is my Dads Achari Aloo (Mango Pickled Roast Potatoes). The mango pickle is sharp and lifts the creamy element of the pasta which I would normally find just bland. The cooked lentils also retained a little bite giving this pasta bake texture. I especially liked the golden topping and thoroughly enjoyed breaking into the crispy exterior with my fork. You could just eat the Red Lentil Mango Dal as it is too,if you so wish.
Presto Pasta Nights #215. PPN was founded by Ruth Daniels of Once Upon a Feast and each Friday night a different host posts a roundup of pasta dishes submitted by bloggers from around the world. This week PPN is being hosted by Trish of My Slap Happy Kitchen.
Mango Pickle Lentil Pasta BakeServes 4 - 6
For the Mango Dal - Red Lentil layer
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, finely sliced
2 clove garlic, crushed
160g red lentils
1 x 400g can of tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato puree
2 – 3 tablespoons mango pickle, drain the oil. If the pickle is chunky, chop it roughly (or mango chutney)
1 bay leaf
A few drops of hot sauce such as Tabasco to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
For the pasta topping
120g penne pasta
20g plain flour
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Optional: 1 tablespoon dreid fenugreek
Salt and pepper to taste
160g Cheddar Cheese, grated
1 teaspoon dried breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon black, brown or yellow mustard seeds (or a mixture of all)
First make the lentil layer: heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onion and garlic. Cover and cook over a low heat for about 5 minutes or until the onion is softened and transparent.
Add the lentils, tomatoes, tomato puree, mango pickle, bay leaf, hot sauce and season to taste. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 20 – 25 minutes until the lentils are cooked and the excess liquid has evaporated, leaving a thick but not dry mixture. Discard the bay leaf and transfer the tomato-lentil base to a deep ovenproof dish.
Now make the past bake topping: bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the penne and cook according to packet instructions or until al dente. Drain and set aside.
Melt the butter in another saucepan and ad the flour and cayenne pepper and cook, stirring for a minute. Remove from the heat, add the optional fenugreek if using and then pour the milk in steadily and mix well. Return to the heat and stir until boiling, then lower the heat and simmer, stirring constantly for a couple of minutes.