I found this recipe in one of those "impulse buy" cookbooks that you often find in the checkout stands of grocery stores of all places. It immediately became one of my favorite pasta dishes and one that I make on a bimonthly basis in the winter. Cumin scented lentils and robust swiss chard are tossed together with perfectly cooked linguini. Mellow neufchatel cheese is melted over the pasta to make a nice creamy sauce that brings the whole dish together. This is the perfect noodle dish to serve on a winter evening with just a soup or salad and maybe some bread on the side.
Hearty Squash Soup
Lentil Linguini
Slices of Warm, Crusty Bread
Leafy Green Salad


1 cup brown lentils
3 cups vegetable stock
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 pound swiss chard
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
12 ounces linguini
6 ounces neufchatel or cream cheese
salt and pepper

Cooking Instructions

Pick through the lentils and remove any rocks or foreign objects that may be present. Rinse the lentils in water and drain. Bring 2 cups of the vegetable stock to a boil in a medium sized pot. Add the lentils and cumin seeds. Reduce the heat, cover and let simmer until the lentils are tender (about 20 minutes). Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil in a large pot. When the water has come to a boil, add the pasta. Cook, stirring occasionally, while you prepare the sauce.

Wash the swiss chard in cold water and pat dry with paper towels or spin dry. Remove the coarse stems and chop finely. Cut the chard leaves into 1/4 strips crosswise. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pan. Add the onion and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic, chard stems and the crushed red pepper and cook for about 3 minutes more. At this point, the onion should be translucent and the garlic should be fragrant but not browned. Add the chard leaves, lentils and the remaining 1 cup of broth to the pan. When the chard leaves have wilted (about 1 minute), cut the cheese into cubes and add to the pan. Mix thoroughly until the cheese has melted and keep the sauce warm over low heat.

When the pasta is just tender (al dente), drain well and place into a large warm bowl. Add the lentil mixture to the bowl and toss until the sauce coats the noodles. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Makes 6 servings



Beans and Grains


Meatless Entrees




Recipes A to Z

elliemay.com store

elliemay's blog

Always pick through your lentils before adding them to any dish. Lentils, along with other dry legumes, sometimes contain rocks or other foreign objects.

You can substitute any type of greens for the swiss chard. The stems tend to turn the pasta pink in spots so, if you find that unattractive, use kale, spinach or mustard greens instead.

Thanks for visiting elliemay.com! Please send in your comments or any special recipes that you would love to share.