Pasta with Red Lentils, Ginger, and Spinach; Photo - Danielle Sucher

We wish we could claim this was good for you, spinach being the apotheosis of healthy food and all that, but it's really mostly made of carbs and butter. Tasty, tasty carbs and butter. This is our current favorite pasta dish. We love the way the red lentils look like jewels on the pasta, the utter gingeriness of the dish, and the burst of flavor from the spinach.

We brought some leftovers into our office for lunch the other day, and let a co-worker try a bite. "Do you eat like this every day?!" she exclaimed. Aside from the extra butteriness of this particular dish, yes. Yes, we do.

Pasta with Red Lentils, Ginger, and Spinach
(adapted from Vegetarian Planet by Didi Emmons)
1 lb dried durum semolina pasta
8 tbsp butter
2 very large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2" ginger, cut into thin strips
1/2 tsp dried sage
3/4 C red lentils
1 C water
3 C fresh spinach, firmly packed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cook the pasta, drain it, and set it aside.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat until it just barely begins to brown and smell unbelievably tasty. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for a minute or so, stirring constantly.

Next, add the sage, lentils, and water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes or until done. Add more water if necessary.

Stir in the spinach and raise the heat slightly. Keep stirring until the spinach wilts. Stir in the pasta, salt, and black pepper, and cook until it is heated through.

Serve warm.