Pasta with Lentils and Truffles
1 lb. tiny lentils, preferably tan
6 cups cold water
1 Tbsp. Black Truffle Saltt
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (No Truffle Oil, PLEASE!)
1-2 large garlic cloves, sliced
4 slices sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated and chopped fine
2 heaping Tbsp. Black Truffle Butter (You will want more as garnish)
Fresh or frozen truffle if available
1 lb. pasta (Fresh if you have it)
Rinse the lentils and put them into a large saucepan. Add the 6 cups water. Turn the heat on high and set the timer for 15 minutes -- you will taste for doneness at this point. (Refer to the pkg. for cooking time, but taste for doneness early. Most lentils cook within 30-35 minutes, usually less.)
When the lentils boil, immediately reduce the heat as needed to keep the lentils at a gentle simmer. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are just tender. Stir in the salt.
Meanwhile, heat the 1/3 cup oil, red pepper flakes and garlic in a small skillet over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes (do not brown the garlic). Remove garlic. When the lentils are done, stir the truffle butter into the oil, add the oil to the lentils. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender and flavorful, just a few minutes.
Allow about 2/3 cup of lentils and 2 oz. of pasta -- per serving.
Cook the pasta separately just until al dente. Save 1 cup of the cooking liquid before draining the pasta. Return the pasta to the pot after draining. Add chopped sun-dried tomatoes, lentil mixture and stir to coat the pasta. Add the reserved cooking liquid by the tablespoon as needed to moisten the pasta (but don't dilute the flavors by adding too much). Sprinkle each serving with fresh grated Parmesan. Slice black truffle all over top (if you have them). Adjust the salt to taste. Let stand 30 seconds before serving.