1 lb zucchini
1/2 cup red lentils, dry
2 cups water
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup dry red wine
15 oz diced tomatoes, canned
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Shredded Parmesan cheese, for topping
Trim both ends of the zucchinis and use a spiralizer or a peeler to shred into noodles. Reserve.
Put the red lentils and water in a small pot and bring to a full boil, then reduce to medium-low. Cook for about 12 minutes before testing a lentil for doneness. When there is no crunch left, drain the lentils in a wire strainer; do not rinse. Reserve.
For the sauce, place a large sauté pan on the burner, drizzle in the oil and turn the heat to medium-high. As the oil gets hot, add the onion and stir. Cook, reducing the heat to medium-low when it starts to sizzle. Add the garlic, stir until fragrant, then add the red wine and bring to a boil. Add the diced tomatoes and salt and bring to a boil, stirring. Add in the red lentils, and stir until thick and heated through, about 3 minutes.
Add the zucchini noodles to the pan and stir just until coated and the zucchini is heated through. Don't cook the zucchini any longer than it takes to warm it, or it will wilt and weep liquid.
Top with Parmesan, if desired.
Skip the beef tonight, and savor this hearty pasta made with quick-cooking, protein-rich lentils. The comforting combination of a robust red sauce and spaghetti gets an update, with the option to serve with zucchini strands or whole wheat pasta, for a satisfying weeknight meal.