Pasta with Lentils and Kale
If you'd rather skip the pasta, this is also delicious served over millet. Take 1/2 cup millet, checking it for small pebbles or debris. Add it to a dry skillet, and cook until it is barely toasted, and giving off a light fragrance. Add to 1 1/2 cups water, with one Tbsp butter and a bit of salt, and simmer about 25 minutes. Do not stir, or it will be mushy. While millet is cooking, sauté one small shallot in butter until lightly browned in places. Add to millet just before removing it from heat. Spoon the lentil/kale mix over the top of the millet and serve.
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Simmer lentils in water (2 cups) with 1/4 teaspoon salt in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart saucepan, uncovered, adding more water if necessary to keep lentils barely covered, until tender but not falling apart, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt.
While lentils simmer, heat 1/4 cup oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté onion with pepper and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, stirring, 1 minute. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and golden (stir more frequently toward end of cooking), about 20 minutes. Remove lid and increase heat to moderate, then cook, stirring frequently, until onion is golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes more.
While onion cooks, prepare the kale: strip and discard stems, tearing kale into small pieces as you work. Add kale to skillet and cover, cooking on low heat and adding a Tablespoon of water if necessary, until kale is just tender. Add to onion along with lentils (including lentil-cooking liquid), then simmer, stirring, 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.
In a large pot, add pasta to water and boil, uncovered, until al dente. Reserve about 1 cup pasta-cooking liquid, then drain pasta in a colander. Add pasta to lentil mixture along with about 1/3 cup of pasta-cooking liquid (or enough to keep pasta moist) and cook over high heat, tossing, 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil.
Adapted from Gourmet, April 2007